Rev grows 12% in quarter to $577 mil

Univision will become America’s No. 1 broadcast network in five years, the CEO of the Spanish-language media giant boldly predicted Thursday.

In reporting earnings, Joe Uva boasted that during the quarter ending Dec. 31, Univision was the only network to increase its primetime audience with adults 18-49 (13%) and adults 18-34 (11%). He added that the network was only poised to grow, pointing out that Hispanic populations continue to rise in at least 16 states. In the quarter, Uva cited the ratings success of one of its hit novelas, “Soy Tu Duena.”

Univision revenues grew 12% in the quarter to $577 million, and by 14% for the full year to $2.2 billion. The net loss for the quarter widened to $632 million, in part because of the costs to extinguish debt and because of settlement costs stemming from a lawsuit involving Televisa, now a Univision partner. Univision is privately held, but opts to report quarterly results.

The FIFA World Cup alone contributed $109.5 million in net revenue in the fourth quarter.

“This year Univision cemented its strong foundation and put in place an enhanced infrastructure to enable significant future growth,” said Uva. “The impact of Univision now having more exploitable content than ever before, both through our in-house efforts and from our expanded programming agreement with our most important partner, Televisa, cannot be underestimated – nor can the upcoming release of the 2010 U.S. Census results, which are sure to spell out the rapid growth and enormous influence of U.S. Hispanics.”In television, revenues in the quarter grew to $476 million vs. $420 million in 2009 and for the full year to $1.86 billion vs. $1.6 billion in 2009. In radio, revenues slipped in the quarter to $83 million from $84 million last year, and for the full year to $323 million from $339 million in 2009. And with interactive, revenues grew in the quarter to $18.1 million vs. $12.1 million in 2009 and for the full year, to $63 million, vs. $41.2 million.

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