Boosted in part by the World Series, Fox Deportes held off its rivals in October and has cemented its standing as the most popular Spanish-language sports network in America.
Upstart Univision Deportes provided stiff competition in the third quarter of this year, but the Fox-owned Fox Deportes remains ahead of both it and ESPN Deportes for the year to date, according to Nielsen.
The young networks are all chasing after the ever-growing number of Spanish-speaking sports fans. In the most recent Census data, the number of Hispanics in the country topped 50 million — a 43% spike from 2010 and accounting for more than half of all population growth.
For the month of October (Sept. 30-Oct. 27), Fox Deportes averaged 90,000 viewers in primetime, according to Nielsen — ahead of Univision Deportes (62,000) and ESPN Deportes (54,000). In total-day averages, FOXD averaged 42,000, followed by ESPND (30,000) and UDN (26,000).
And year to date, FOXD has averaged 68,000 primetime viewers, followed by UDN (61,000) and ESPND (53,000).
FOXD’s exclusive Spanish broadcast of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals averaged 215,000 total viewers and 135,000 adults 18-49, up 41% in both categories vs. the 2012 San Francisco-Detroit series. By comparison, viewership of the World Series on the Fox broadcast network was up 17% from last year.
FOXD is also the leader among the Spanish-language sports nets in both news and soccer talk year-to-date, and in October with the franchise programs “Central Fox” and “La Ultima Palabra.” Also contributing to its strong October were UEFA soccer matches and UFC fights.
Fox Deportes was previously Fox Sports en Espanol, and then relaunched with its new name in October 2010.
Univision Deportes, which launched in April 2012, has racked up the widest distribution of the Spanish-language sports networks, and is now in 35 million households following its recent Time Warner agreement. Fox Deportes is in about 21.2 million homes, and ESPN Deportes is in about 17.3 million.
In the third quarter of this year, UDN aired a whopping 176 live events, including numerous games in LigaMX, the top professional soccer league in Mexico. Its extensive roster of soccer programming also includes the Mexican national team, the U.S. Men’s National Team, Major League Soccer and European soccer.