Young Broadcasting's (YBTVA) third-quarter loss was narrower than most Wall Street expectations, but the television-station owner indicated that the cancellation of National Basketball Association games will have "a negative impact" on fourth-quarter earnings at its flagship station, Los Angeles independent KCAL.In a statement, the company said it lost $3.4 million, or 24 cents a share, in the third period, compared with a year-earlier loss of $6.5 million, or 47 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by First Call were looking for a deficit of 27 cents. Revenue rose to $63 million from $58 million, and cash flow rose to $27 million from $24.5 million.
But the owner of 12 stations said KCAL, the local over-the-air outlet for Los Angeles Lakers basketball games, could lose as much as $6 million if all 1998-99 NBA games are canceled. KCAL, located in the nation's No. 2 advertising market, accounts for 42 percent of Young's revenue.
The NBA has already canceled its entire November schedule, as labor talks between the players and owners have stalled.
During the third quarter, Young suspended plans to sell the company, citing volatile market conditions.
Written By David B. Wilkerson