Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NXST) Q3 2020 Earnings Call Transcript @themotleyfool #stocks $NXST

Perry A. SookChairman and Chief Executive Officer

That’s fair.

Kyle EvansStephens — Analyst

Great. Thank you.


We’ll take our next question from Zack Silver with B. Riley. Please go ahead.

Zack SilverB. Riley — Analyst

Okay. Great. Thanks for taking my question. Just a high-level one for me. We’ve had a huge political cycle in 2020. We’ve got maybe a couple more cycles of really healthy rate step-ups on the retrans side before you sort of reach the viewership and dollar share period that you’ve talked about. It would be really interesting to hear from you guys what you think drives the next leg of growth for Nexstar?

Perry A. SookChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Well, we’re not done on political for this year. That will be one potentially two runoff races in Georgia for the runoffs to be contested on January five of next year. I think you’re going to see from our one Nexstar approach, and we spent literally a year putting this together where we brought digital and broadcasting and cable, everything under one roof and one P&L, one silo, if you will, and the synergies, not only financial, but operating and sales go-to-market synergies of this one company multi-platform approach, while it may be a little walking in the weeds for — to talk about with investors, but that is really what we see being the next leg of our organic growth. And again, we think we have opportunity to make some select accretive acquisitions in Digital. I will tell you that in terms of ATSC 3.0, we have a dozen markets on the air and operating or will by the end of this year. And our target internally next year is to launch another 20 markets with ATSC 3.0, and there are some big ones, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, among others.

So we’re — we hope to have by the end of next year, approximately 1/3 of the U.S. covered with Nexstar ATSC 3.0 signals. And again, the business case for that is both offensive and defensive. It will allow us to put a 4K signal out over-the-air. And that’s noticeable to the eye difference over even current HD. And it also is an IP-based transmission standard, which will allow people to ultimately seamlessly go from device to device. And we think that, that is the next leg of growth for the business, but we think the monetization period is probably still four or five years off before that becomes meaningful. So again, if you look at the free cash flow generating power of this machine, this platform, it’s going to give us optionality in terms of how we want to create value just with the amount of free cash that will come out the process here on an annual basis for the next several years.

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