Broadcast Station M&A Volume Reaches Nearly $2 Billion in Q2 2014, According to SNL Kagan

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SNL Kagan report finds that broadcast station M&A volume reached $1.85 billion in Q2 2014, over $2 billion less than Q2 2013, when $3.88 billion of broadcast stations traded hands.

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Announced today, broadcast station M&A volume reached $1.85 billion in Q2 2014, over $2 billion less than Q2 2013, when $3.88 billion of broadcast stations traded hands, according to SNL Kagan's Broadcast M&A Quarterly Tracker for Q2’14.

TV station deal volume in Q2 2014 was $1.33 billion, versus $518.6 million worth of radio station deals, still a very robust deal market despite the decline from last year’s huge totals.

On a year-to-date basis through Q2 2014, broadcast deal volume rose to $5.44 billion versus $6.56 billion in H1 2013. A total of 613 stations traded in 2014 YTD, of which 449 were radio and 164 were TV stations. The average TV station price in H1 was $46.5 million, versus $2.3 million for the average radio station.

The pace of consolidation slowed in the TV station market, no doubt affected by recent FCC regulatory moves. In the largest TV transaction of the quarter, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. traded its owned-and-operated affiliates in Boston and Memphis for Cox Enterprises, Inc.’s FOX affiliate in San Francisco together with an independent station in the same market. At 8.0x forward cash flow, we estimate each side of this transaction being worth $429.7 million. The largest non-swap deal was Gannett Co., Inc.’s $215.0 million acquisition of six stations from London Broadcasting Company, Inc. The average TV station forward seller’s deal multiple YTD stands at 8.8x.

Radio deal volume exceeded $500 million for only the second time since 2011. The top deal was the $105.0 million / 8.0x seller’s cash flow sale of four FM stations from Wilks Broadcast Group, LLC to Steel City Media, Inc. In addition, we registered three transactions above the $50 million mark: the $72.0 million sale of nine FM stations from South Central Communications Corporation to Midwest Communications, Inc.; Palm Beach Broadcasting LLC’s $66.5 million acquisition of Three Eagles Communications Inc. and its 48 stations; and the $57.0 million sale of 19 radio stations and one translator from Main Line Broadcasting LLC to Alpha Broadcasting, LLC .

These transactions are an indicator of an increased pace of consolidation in the radio market. In spite of increased deal activity, the average radio forward cash flow multiple rose by only 0.4 point in the last 12 months to 7.3x through H1 2014.

About SNL Kagan
SNL Kagan, a division of SNL Financial LC, is a comprehensive resource for financial intelligence in the media and communications sector, including the broadcasting, cable, entertainment, motion picture, telecom, wireless, satellite, publishing, new media industries and media technologies. The SNL Kagan suite of products integrates breaking news, comprehensive data and expert analysis into an electronic database available online and updated around the clock. For more information, visit

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Christina Twomey
SNL Financial
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