BIA Financial Network Inc. believes the number of stations sold in 2005 in the first half of the year was slightly higher than the same period in 2004. However, BIAfn projects the value of 2005 Radio transactions to only be just above $2 billion, not likely to rise above the $2.4 billion in transaction value in both 2004 and 2003. That’s according to the financial group in its latest radio transaction report to be released at the NAB Radio Show.
“While no one expected the level of sales to return to the numbers in the late 1990s and the early 2000’s, some had hoped that the total value of sales would have rebounded,” said Mark Fratrik, vice president of BIAfn. “Instead, the marketplace has been distracted by overwhelming competition for listeners and advertisers from both non-terrestrial radio an all forms of new media.”
At the end of the mid-point of 2005, 500 stations were sold, up slightly compared to 900 stations sold in the full year of 2003 and 2004. The value of 2005 transactions for the first six months was around $950 million. BIA projects the total value of 2005 transactions to be between $2 to $2.4 billion.
BIA projects total radio sales to be flat in 2005, although that could change if the rumored sales of properties owned by Susquehanna Radio and ABC Radio occur. These two deals would be unique and not suggestive of a trend, notes the financial group.
Many radio groups will continue to acquire single stations to fill-in gaps in their existing markets. BIAfn observes that many radio station buyers are acquiring stations with a weak signal to improve facilities through a technical upgrade to increase the population served by the station, and consequently, the station’s overall value.
The BIAfn report on radio transactions will be available in Booth 505 at the 2005 NAB Radio Show or by visiting www.bia.com after Sept. 26.