Metro fall restrains regional gain for SCA


Reporting a 7% fall in revenues at yesterday’s SCA Media Group AGM, CEO Grant Blackley cited an Australian media industry ‘subject to challenging trading environments,’ and a subdued metropolitan radio market. 

Metropolitan radio revenue for stations including Triple M and the Hit Network dropped 6% in the first quarter from the corresponding period last year. 

The company saw improvement across all key financial measures for the 2017 financial year, with a revenue increase of 7.5% to $690m. Chairman Peter Bush told shareholders ‘the Company has substantially repaired its balance sheet over the past three years. While pleased by these results, your Board and management team are firmly focused on the future.’

Bush described SCA Media Group’s ‘proactive steps’ in taking advantage of the opportunities being created by technological change and diversity of platforms, referring to the transition of audiences and revenue to the Group’s new Nine Network television programming across the east coast, the launch of a new podcasting business with US-based Podcast One, and sale of the northern NSW Ten Network licence to WIN Corporation. 

‘The Company is also enjoying some success this year in attracting a higher proportion of advertising dollars to regional Australia, after a concerted and targeted strategy.’ 

‘We have welcomed the relief from broadcasting licence fees finally approved by the Parliament in 2017. We’re also pleased that media ownership legislation has been amended to remove the reach rule and the two out of three rule,’ said Bush. 

CEO Grant Blackley delved into the significant lineup changes to the national radio drive shows on both the Hit and Triple M Networks, and said ‘Kate and Hughesy have performed exceptionally well on a peer network.’

‘The rollout of our Hit and Triple M brands across 68 stations in 34 regional markets in December last year created Australia’s first ever truly national radio network. SCA also owns nearly half the commercial digital radio spectrum in Australia,’ Blackley said. 

The regional radio business managed a 2% revenue gain in the first quarter, while regional television revenues gained 3.5%, supported by a new affiliate programming deal with Nine Network. 

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