World Cup scores for Univision

Revenues jump 23% to $640 million

Executives of Univision reported Thursday that the Spanish-language media giant scored big with its second-quarter earnings from its coverage of the World Cup.

Revenues jumped 23% to $640 million, and operating profits rose 20% to $272 million vs. the year-ago period.

Joe Uva, CEO of the privately held Univision, attributed much of the gain to soccer coverage. “We were thrilled to have offered such a comprehensive and interactive World Cup experience to our viewers on all our platforms,” he said. “As a result, we reached all-time record numbers in viewership and visits to our interactive properties.”

During the quarter, Univision booked $74 million in revenue related to the World Cup. About $5 million of that came from online, while the rest is attributed to TV revenues, said chief financial officer Andrew Hobson.

The Argentina-Mexico match on June 27 drew record numbers of viewers to Univision — 9.3 million — making it the single most watched telecast in the history of Spanish-language TV in the U.S., executives said.

Univision, which streamed the World Cup games live for free to fans in the U.S., saw second quarter website and mobile traffic soar 37%, the company said.

In terms of advertising, executives did not offer specific numbers, but Uva said the upfront inventory was almost completely sold out and they were seeing more ad dollars shifting from English- language TV outlets to Univision.

Hobson said ad revenue at Univision local stations increased in the low-double digit range and in the mid-teens for network TV. As a category, auto ad spending was up an estimated 40% in the quarter, he added, and 21% for the year.

Meanwhile, Univision certainly has reason to be pleased about its ratings results for July.

The broadcaster, driven by hot weeknight telenovelas, including “Soy Tu Duena” (Woman of Steel), averaged roughly 1.1 million adults 18-34 during any given minute of primetime — beating ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox for the first time in any sweep period.

The network also finished a competitive third among adults 18-49 (lagging Fox and ABC), according to Nielsen.

Univision stations in heavily Hispanic markets also enjoyed a big month, with KMEX in Los Angeles becoming the most-watched station in the country during primetime. Also winning primetime in adults 18-49 during July were the Univision stations in Miami, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, San Francisco (tie) and Sacramento.

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