It won't be long before you will be able to see streaming video on KSN and KODE's websites in Joplin, and KOLR and KSFX websites in Springfield.
Earlier today, Nexstar Broadcasting CEO Perry Sook told potential investors at the annual Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. Media Conference. "Over the next couple of years, we will upgrade our websites for more streaming video."
Nexstar owns KSN and operates KODE in Joplin and owns KSFX and operates KOLR in Springfield.
Sook noted that in the mid-size markets in which Nexstar owns and operates television stations, most of his competition does not have streaming video on their websites. "Let's try to get there first and enjoy a competitive advantage for a long time," he said.
Nexstar is already working to make its websites portals of activity and sources of revenue, Sook said. "We want to drive people to our websites to click through to coupons or advertisers." Nexstar is working on a deal with Coupon Bug that would pay the company each time someone clicks through to its coupons
While the websites were thoroughly discussed, Sook left no doubt that television is the hub of Nexstar's business. He outlined a five-pronged growth strategy for 2005.
1. "Strengthen and build our leading local news franchises.
2. "Emphasize local sales and incremental revenue initiatives to maximize revenue share.
3. "Implement and maintain strict cost controls to achieve margin growth.
4. "Capitalize on duopoly opportunities to provide cross selling and leverage operational efficiencies." When Sook refers to duopolies, he is referring to the strategy Nexstar uses in most of its markets, of owning one station and being the de facto owner of a second, most of which are either technically owned by Mission Broadcasting or Sinclair.
5. "Improve operating performance of recently acquired stations."
Sook said the company's strategy has been paying off handsomely. Joplin and Springfield were listed as two of the markets in which Nexstar has the highest revenue share.
The Nexstar CEO again painted a positive portrait of the company's retransmission battles with Cable One and Cox Communications. Since the beginning of the year, Cable One customers in Joplin, Independence, and Vinita, among others, have not had KSNF or KODE on their systems. Nexstar pulled the stations after Cable One refused to pay 30 cents per customer per month.
"We have suffered a minimal negative cash impact," Sook said, claiming that the cable companies were suffering more. He says he sees a "large upside" if Nexstar wins the battle and the cable companies eventually end up paying for retransmission rights. At the moment, Nexstar is the only company fighting the battle, but it won't stay that way for so long, Sook said.
"We expect other companies to enter the fray."