Univision scores big in upfront sales

Spanish-language b'caster sees 10% increase

Spanish-language TV continues to enjoy growth despite the rocky advertising market.

Univision Communications, the No. 1 U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster has sold $550 million in upfront advertising for its 2002 season, a 10% increase from last year’s $500 million. As other companies lose advertisers due to the tough economic climate, Univision managed to gain eight new advertisers from year-to-year.

Second-placed Telemundo has sold between $200 and $225 million in upfront advertising, an improvement of 15-20% from last year $175 million.

Although they saw big increases over last year, the two nets were still hurt by the soft ad market in that they were hoping to get even larger increases. Still, considering the environment, the growth is impressive.

“The 2000 census was really the best promoter of Spanish language media,” said Initiative Media’s head of ethnic marketing Rosa Serrano. “Mainstream advertisers are realizing it’s a way to gain new customers.”

According to Competetive Media Reporting, Univision and Telemundo generated a combined 12% revenue gain for the first half of 2001 reaching almost $885 million, up from $792 million for the first half of 2000.

Univision shares jumped 5.9% on Monday to $24.31.

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