No. 50: Univision Communications

Los Angeles/Miami

Revenue: $863.5 million

Profit: $116.9 million

In a bid to create a multi-faceted Spanish-language entertainment company and to solidify its hold on Hispanic broadcasting in the U.S., Univision Communications in the last 10 months has made a push into new business areas and expanded its core operations.

Despite some ratings in-roads by smaller rival Telemundo, Univision’s core broadcast network retains its dominant position in audience and ad share. Univision management believes that its operations will be less affected by the softer U.S. ad market than English-language media. When announcing second-quarter results, executives estimated a full-year 2001 revenue increase of 5%-8% to $910 million-$935 million.

Fueling some of that growth are new businesses such as Univision.com, which launched in October 1999 and claimed some 7 million unique users this June — more than 80% of all U.S. online Spanish speakers. In light of the changing Internet ad market, executives said they are tweaking the online business model.

In April of this year, Univision formed recording and publishing subsidiary Univision Music Group, tapping former EMI Latin topper Jose Behar as president and CEO.

In December, it announced the $1.1 billion acquisition of USA Networks’ station group from Barry Diller. Those stations will form a second Spanish-lingo network, Telefutura, which will launch in January with an anticipated 80% coverage of U.S. Hispanic households.

Univision also has acquired its first stations in Puerto Rico, a key territory, where it will launch both networks. Univision believes Telefutura, which it plans to counterprogram against the Univision and Telemundo networks, will only cannibalize about 25% of its audience, drawing mostly from English-lingo broadcasters.

Startup and other costs associated with the acquisitions and new businesses will cut into profits this year.

Univision has secured long-term programming supply agreements with Venezuela’s RCTV and Colombia’s RCN, which, in addition to existing accords with Televisa and Venevision, give it an exclusive lock on a huge chunk of Latin American novelas, the primetime staple of Spanish-lingo TV.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content