Spanish Broadcasting System said Monday that its total revenues rose to $39.0 million in third quarter 2021, up 30% over $30.0 million in the same period last year. Removing political dollars from the comparison, revenues jumped 38% to $27.9 million. Importantly, the Spanish language radio and TV operator said its Q3 revenues surpassed the same pre-pandemic period in 2019 by 7%.
The company’s radio unit, which operates stations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Puerto Rico, reported a 43% year-over-year revenue gain to $35.9 million. SBS attributed the large swing to ad sales continuing to improve sequentially quarter-over-quarter. Excluding political sales, radio revenue soared 46% to $35.5 million. Once again, SBS said its radio revenue exceeded the same pre-pandemic period in 2019 by 11%.
But it was a different story for SBS at its smaller television division. The loss of political ad dollars caused TV revenues to plummet 38% to $3.0 million from $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2020’s presidential election year. Even with political removed from the equation, SBS TV revenues were down 17%.
Radio earnings surged 62% to $15.5 million. TV earnings were in the red with a $2.0 million loss, compared to $993,000 one year ago.
Chairman and CEO Raúl Alarcón attributed the “solid financial performance” overall to the strong showing of its core radio division. “Radio revenue and Adjusted OIBDA again exceeded 2019 pre-pandemic levels for the second consecutive quarter, a validation of the ability of our teams to effectively monetize the popularity of our branded content and the engagement we have established with the nationwide Latino consumer,” he said.
SBS expects “continued peak operating efficiency, Alarcón said, as it hosts sold-out sponsored concerts in the New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas and Puerto Rico markets in the coming months that were postponed due to the pandemic.
The company’s digital initiatives demonstrated “impressive growth,” especially streaming revenue, he added.Its network division “is also demonstrating solid year-over-year growth.”Alarcón teased a “fourth terrestrial/digital audio format” launching in Miami during the fourth quarter but didn’t elaborate.