|TEGNA INC filed this Form 10-Q on 11/08/2018|
Revenue recognition: Revenue is recognized upon the transfer of control of promised services to our customers in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to receive in exchange for those services. Revenue is recognized net of any taxes collected from customers, which are subsequently remitted to governmental authorities. Amounts received from customers in advance of providing services to our customers are recorded as deferred revenue.
Our primary source of revenue is earned through the sale of advertising and marketing services (AMS). This revenue stream includes all sources of our traditional television and radio advertising, as well as digital revenues including Premion, our digital marketing services (DMS) business unit and other digital advertising across our platforms. Contracts within this revenue stream are short-term in nature (most often three months or less). Contracts generally consist of multiple deliverables, such as television commercials, or digital advertising solutions, that we have identified as individual performance obligations. Before performing under the contract we establish the transaction price with our customer based on the agreed upon rates for each performance obligation. There is no material variability in the transaction price during the term of the contract.
Revenue is recognized as we deliver our performance obligations to our customers. For our AMS revenue stream, we measure our performance based on the airing of the individual television commercials or display of digital advertisements. This measure is most appropriate as it aligns our revenue recognition with the value we are providing to our customers. The price of each individual commercial and digital advertisement is negotiated with our customer and is determined based on multiple factors, including, but not limited to, the programming and day-part selected, supply of available inventory, our station’s viewership ratings and overall market conditions (e.g., timing of the year and strength of U.S. economy). Customers are billed monthly and payment is generally due 30 days after the date of invoice. Commission costs related to these contracts are expensed as incurred due to the short term nature of the contracts.
We also earn subscription revenue from retransmission consent contracts with multichannel video programming distributors (e.g., cable and satellite providers) and over the top providers (companies that deliver video content to consumers over the Internet). Under these multi-year contracts, we have performance obligations to provide our customers with our stations’ signals, as well as our consent to retransmit those signals to their customers. Subscription revenue is recognized in accordance with the guidance for licensing intellectual property utilizing a usage based method. The amount of revenue earned is based on the number of subscribers to which our customers retransmit our signal, and the negotiated fee per subscriber included in our contract agreement. Our customers submit payments monthly, generally within 60-90 days after the month that service was provided. Our performance obligations are satisfied, and revenue is recognized, as we provide our consent for our customers to retransmit our signal. This measure toward satisfaction of our performance obligations and recognition of revenue is the most appropriate as it aligns our revenue recognition with the value that we are delivering to our customers through our retransmission consent.
We also generate revenue from the sale of political advertising. Contracts within this revenue stream are short term in nature (typically weekly or monthly buys during political campaigns). Customers pre-pay these contracts and we therefore defer the associated revenue until the advertising has been delivered, at which time we have satisfied our performance obligations and recognize revenue. Commission costs related to these contracts are expensed as incurred due to the short term nature of the contracts.
Our remaining revenue is comprised of various other services, primarily production services (for news content and commercials) and sublease rental income. Revenue is recognized as these various services are provided to our customers.
In instances where we sell services from more than one revenue stream to the same customer at the same time, we recognize one contract and allocate the transaction price to each deliverable element (e.g. performance obligation) based on the relative fair value of each element.
Revenue earned by categories in the third quarter and nine months of 2018 and 2017 are shown below (amounts in thousands):