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Univision snares big share in Nielsen Hispanic index

NEW YORK — The Nielsen Hispanic Television Index celebrated its first year tracking viewership habits of U.S. Hispanics and Univision is elated.

Steven Hammond, Univision’s head of corporate communications, notes the net has consistently captured the majority of the top-20 shows.

The 1993 fourth-quarter figures show the web maintains a 70-point share of the U.S. Hispanic household market. “We had 1.5 million viewers in December, which makes us the 5th largest net in the U.S.,” he says.

Although both Spanish-lingo webs knew they had a considerable audience, in the past they had not been able to supply accurate numbers to advertisers. Thus, Univision and Telemundo joined efforts to establish the Nielsen people meter rating system at $ 16 million each.

The results of the first year have been positive for Univision. Hammond points out that national advertisers have taken notice. The net has attracted such national firms as Procter & Gamble, Reebok, Nike, U.S. Sprint, AT&T and Montgomery Ward and others from the banking industry. With more than 30 years on U.S. airwaves, (counting its continuation from the Spanish Intl. Network days, when it was controlled by Televisa), Univision controls 91% of the 24 million Hispanic households via 36 broadcast and more than 600 cable affils in the U.S. Univision offers a mix of international and domestic product.

International fare includes programming from its two parent firms — Mexico’s Grupo Televisa and Venezuela’s Venevision — while domestic productions include “Sabado Gigante,””Lente Loco,””Cuentamelo,” the one-hour “Show de Chabeli” (hosted by Julio Iglesias’ daughter), “Primer Impacto,””Noticiero Univision” and the “Oprah Winfrey”-style show “Cristina.”

Other new product includes “Ondamax,” a musicvideo show aimed at teens, and “Control,” a teen lifestyle magazine. The web also produces a series of specials throughout the year such as “Carnaval,””Calle 8,””Premio lo Nuestro” and the beauty pageant “Nuestra Belleza.” Fourth-quarter figures show that Univision managed to capture a 70 share in primetime: a 71 share for women (aged 18-49), a 74 share for men (18-49), a 77 share for adults (18-34) and a 73 share for adults (18-49).

Figures for network news reveal a 65 share of Hispanic households: a 68 share for women (18-49), a 65 share for men (18-49), a 68 share for adults (18-34) and a 67 share for adults (18-49).

“At the end of the day, it’s software, software, software,” says Hammond. “And the Nielsen ratings prove it.” Univision is also excited about the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament. Because the web will be televising all of the games , it’s expecting high viewership by both Spanish and non-Spanish speaking sports fans, something they discovered during the last World Cup.

The No. 2 Spanish-lingo web Telemundo also has been busy. Since filing Chapter 11 in November, 1993, it is undergoing reorganization to get back on its financial feet. Among new plans is a joint venture with the Reuters news service to launch a new 24-hour cable news network in Latin America, slated to begin this spring. The net reaches 85.4% of all Hispanic TV households in 53 markets in the contiguous U.S. through 50 full and low-power TV stations, 470 cable affils and satellite-direct viewership. More than 50% of Telemundo — 19 1/2 hours daily programming hours — is produced domestically, including “Club Telemundo,””Ocurrio Asi,””Ritmo Internacional,””Fama y Fortuna,””Salva Quien Puede,””Lo Mejor de lo Mejor,””Primera Hora,” the nightly newscast and the talkshow “Maria Laria.” In addition, Telemundo presents a special edition of “Ocurrio Asi de Noche,” dealing with more in-depth or topical themes. The web also produces the novella “Tres Destinos,” starring Lumi Calvazos (“Like Water for Chocolate”) in Puerto Rico.

According to Jose del Cueto, exec VP of Telemundo’s international division, the web is also pushing a syndication deal it began last year in which they offer U.S. advertisers syndicated buys via 17 countries in Latin America.

“We are trying to be creative in our dealings,” he says. “About 99.1% of the market is straight distribution with licensing fees. But we have arrangement packages with cash and commercial minutes where we can turn around talk with multinational advertisers interested in advertising, creating pan-regional types of offerings for them that is something unique.”

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