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Univision to Big Four: We’re No. 1 and Rising

Spanish net touts July ratings win as it eyes larger slice of TV ad pie

While the Engish-language broadcast and cable nets sought to up their games this summer, Univision proved to be a major scene stealer by notching a ratings milestone that underscores the increasingly multicultural makeup of the U.S. population. Univision ranked No. 1 among all networks in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demographics during the July sweep period (June 26-July 24), according to Nielsen, a first for the Spanish-language titan in any sweep period.

Granted, July is not a month when the Big Four are at full strength in terms of programming (unlike Univision’s year-round telenovela-driven primetime lineup), and sweeps in general have been made essentially obsolete due to improvements in local rating-gathering techniques. But it was a handy hook for Univision to hang a headline on at a time when the net was flush with a hot novela (“Amores Verdaderos”) and had a bounce from a July 18 youth-centric kudocast (“Premios Juventud”).

Univision has grown more aggressive about tubthumping its competitive showing against the English-lingo nets under the direction of CEO Randy Falco, an NBC and AOL alum who is on a mission to claim a larger share of the overall TV advertising pie for Spanish-lingo TV.

“Our aggressive push to take share from the English-language networks is working,” Falco told investors in unveiling Univision’s solid second-quarter earnings July 25.

Univision, along with its rival, No. 2-rated Spanish-language network Telemundo, typically draw a significantly younger audience than the Big Four networks. Univision hammered home that point by noting all the summer series “Amores Verdaderos” has topped in the 18-34 demo, a list that includes ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and CBS’ “Big Brother.”

Buoyed by strong ratings, Univision saw a 17.6% year-over-year jump in operating income in the quarter. Net revenue grew 10.4% to $676.5 million.

“Our audience has high expectations for us to deliver on the promise to bring them the best telenovelas, variety, news and sports programming, and our track record shows the result,” said Univision Networks prexy Cesar Conde.

(Pictured: Telenovela “Amores Verdaderos” is helping to drive Univision’s summer viewership, which topped the broadcast nets in adults 18-49 for the first time in July.)

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