Broadcast Deals Pick Up in Q3, Still Below 2014

Pace for radio is well off last year's
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SNL Kagan recently reported numbers for broadcast station mergers and acquisition volume in the third quarter, for both radio and TV. Combined, the value for the quarter was $3.04 billion — $422.1 million of it in radio — more than twice the combined amount from the previous three quarters. That brings radio’s year-to-date amount to $663.4 million, while the combined total is $3.41 billion. However, the M&A pace for this year is still significantly less than that of 2014.

The top merger in radio for Q3 came with the Alpha Media acquisition of Digity LLC. Alpha Media paid $264 million for Digity’s 116 stations. SNL Kagan estimates this translates to year-forward seller’s cash flow multiples of 6.8x for FM and 6.3x for AM stations.

There was also a swap between Bonneville International Corp. and Entercom Communications Corp. The estimated deal values were $25 million for Bonneville’s KEPN(AM) and $20 million for the four Entercom stations. Other deals included the Gray Television Inc. and Schurz Communications Inc., which allocated $22 million for radio, and Educational Media Foundation’s $21.7 million acquisition of four Florida stations from American Public Media Group.

Despite the surge of numbers in Q3, 2015 is unlikely to match the numbers of 2014. With the 2015 broadcast deal volume for radio currently is at $663.4 million, it is unlikely to make up with difference to match or surpass 2014’s $1.51 billion.

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