Univision, Telemundo Off Strong Ratings Starts

Hot weeknight novelas driving growth; Univision tops NBC for quarter in 18-34

While their English-language counterparts have struggled in the ratings so far this year, Univision and Telemundo are headed in the other direction.

The Spanish-language broadcasters recorded some historic highs in the first quarter, with Univision closing in on NBC in 18-49 and pulling ahead of it in the younger half of the demo. And for the 2012-13 season to date, Telemundo, Univision and its sister network UniMas are the only broadcasters showing any growth in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen.

From Dec. 31, 2012 to March 31, 2013, Univision averaged 1.94 million adults 18-49 to 2.17 million for NBC, with the former up 4% and the latter down a big 37% from last year when its first quarter included the Super Bowl. CBS, which benefited from the Super Bowl this season, was the easy winner with 4.11 million viewers in the demo.

Univision made history in the younger 18-34 demo, as its 897,000 viewers put it ahead of NBC (880,000) — its first fourth-place finish in any quarter. Still, Univision was down from last year as the net’s gains so far in 2013 are coming primarily in the 35-49 half of the 18-49 demo.

But the Big Four would love to have the audience profile of Univision, whose median age of 39 was, on average, 12 years younger than ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Also, more than 90% of the viewing is done live — a key selling point to advertisers in the commercial-skipping era of the DVR.

Highlights for Univision in the quarter included the finale of hit novela “Por Ella Soy Eva” (For Her I’m Eva) and the 25th annual “Premio Lo Nuestro” Latin Music Awards show.

Telemundo delivered its best quarter on record in both total viewers (1.31 million) and adults 18-49 (695,000).
The net was boosted by hot weeknight novela “La Patrona,” which averaged 1.9 million viewers and 1 million adults 18-49. It also scored with the ‘Superclasico’ soccer match between Chivas and America (2.6 million viewers, including 1.6 million adults 18-49), and with several theatrical film telecasts including “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” (1.95 million viewers, including nearly 1 million adults 18-49).

For the season, Telemundo is closing the demo gap with CW in the battle for sixth place among the broadcasters. Through April 6, CW led Telemundo by roughly 200,000 viewers in adults 18-49 and by about 130,000 viewers in adults 18-34.

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