Univision revs boost books somewhat

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s top broadcaster Televisa reported flat Q2 results July 11, as a 63% jump in royalties from Univision was pulled down by the loss of ad revenue from media rival Carlos Slim’s multibillion-dollar empire, which includes his regional telephone and mobile giants Telmex and Telcel.

Reporting a profit of roughly $150 million, about the same as in the second quarter of 2010, the company saw sales in its broadcasting business, its largest segment, decline 5.9% to $458 million.

Ad revenue suffered due largely to Slim’s decision to pull ads from his wide array of companies from Televisa’s terrestial channels on Feb. 18 after Televisa tried to hike rates 20%.

The company reported that sales would have dropped 1%, not 5.9%, had Slim stayed onboard. An early estimate of the lost revenue made last February indicated that the company would lose $70 million in the first year of Slim’s absence.

On the bright side, the company was buoyed by its recently forged alliance with top U.S. Spanish-language web Univision. Now a full partner in the U.S. conglom, controlling an equivalent of 30% of the company, Televisa saw a healthy 63% boost in revenues from $37 million in Q2 2010 to $60 million this year. The company estimates it will pull in an addition $50 million in additional revenues in the first year of their new alliance with Univision.

Televisa said its content delivered strong results pointing to the final episode of “Triunfo del Amor,” which drew a 39.7% aud share.

Televisa did manage to make $1.26 billion in total sales in the quarter, a 4.7% improvement year-to-year, thanks in large part to the 274,000 additional subscribers to satcaster Sky, which now reaches 3.6 million viewers.

Sky’s only rival in the satcaster biz in Mexico is the low-cost Dish Network, which is in a hotly contested strategic partnership with Slim’s telcom Telmex.

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