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Univision Posts Q4 Loss on Restructuring Charges, Radio Division Declines

Univision Communications reported a fourth quarter net loss of $136.2 million on Tuesday compared to a profit of $172.2 million in the same period a year prior despite boosts in television and digital net earnings.

Among the factors contributing to the loss were restructuring, severance charges and an operating income dip in its radio division.

However, Univision’s fourth quarter net revs rose 4.5% t to $727.7 million compared to $696.2 million for the same period a year ago. Univision brass will discuss the company’s financials with investors on a conference call scheduled for Thursday.

Net revenue for the full year ending Dec. 31, 2014 spiked 10.8% to $2.91 billion, up from $2.62 billion the previous year. Soccer tourney FIFA World Cup contributed an estimated $174.2 million in incremental net ad revenue but incurred operating expenses of $136.6 million in its television biz.

Univision’s radio biz, which has declined in recent years, saw an 8.4% decrease in full year net revenue to $302 million compared to $329.7 million in 2013, with the FIFA World Cup negatively impacting its net ad revenue by some $7.5 million.

Spanish-language broadcasting rights to the quadrennial soccer tourney have shifted to NBCU’s Telemundo, which outbid Univision for the first time in decades.

In 2011, Fox and Telemundo agreed to shell out a record $1 billion for the broadcast rights to the FIFA World Cup tourneys in 2018 and 2022 with Fox paying more than $400 million while Telemundo shelled out $600 million. Pact includes broadcasting rights to the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cups and other international tourneys.
Meanwhile, the Copa Oro and Confederation Cup soccer tourneys contributed net ad revs of $65.3 million and incurred $29.4 million in operating expenses.

Univision’s digital division saw advances in fourth quarter net revs of 138.4% to $47.2 million compared to $19.8 million in the same period in 2013. For the full year, net revs rose 99% to $154.8 million compared to $77.8 million the year prior.

In a bid to boost its live event auds, Univision forged a long-term partnership last month with the Miss Universe organization to bring the television and digital rights for the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants to Univision, which will co-produce them.

In a statement, Univision prexy-CEO Randy Falco said: “In 2014, we estimate, based on external and internal sources, that we expanded our reach across all platforms on average to 45 million consumers monthly, not including our estimated World Cup reach, representing a 10.1 percent increase from 2013.”

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