Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications, which has reportedly been wooed by media magnate John Malone as it mulls an IPO, has reported a 4% dip in second quarter 2017 revenue of $764.9 million compared to $800.3 million in the same time frame last year.
Its net income or profit for the second quarter ending June 30 rose 5% to $106 million compared to $74.7 million for the same period in 2016.
“Net income increased $31 million and we continue to deliver as evidenced by our reduction of net debt by approximately $200 million over the first half of the year,” said Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications. “Furthermore, our strong ratings performance as the number one Spanish-language network in both the May and July sweeps positions us well to monetize our diverse assets and premier brand,” he added.
On an earnings call, Falco pointed out that Univision “reaches 60% of all Spanish-language TV viewers in the U.S.” as it continues to introduce new third-party content to complement the programming from its long-time supplier, Televisa. The Mexican media giant has also been revamping its programming under the new team led by Isaac Lee, who was named chief content officer for both Televisa and Univision in mid-January.
Univision recently broke with tradition by airing non-Televisa programs on primetime and has been having stellar ratings success with a string of Bible-inspired telenovelas from Brazil’s Record TV. “Joseph of Egypt,” which has its two-hour finale on Aug. 7 on Univision, will be followed by “The Promised Land,” also created by Renato Modesto.
Televisa owns close to 40% of Univision and has the option to raise that stake to 49% if Univision completes its IPO.
“We are also focused on driving our next phase of growth by leveraging emerging technologies and unique consumer experiences as the media and technology industries continue to converge,” said Falco who reported that Univision’s digital advertising revs were up 39% compared to 19% in core advertising. Univision’s digital properties now contribute 10% of the company’s total ad revenues.
Univision has also been ramping up its sports programming to make up for the loss of the Spanish-language broadcast rights of the FIFA World Cup series to Telemundo. “We have become the home of soccer in the U.S.,” said Falco as he listed the various soccer league games the company has aired. “U.S. Hispanics consume more sports than non-Hispanics,” he said, citing a recent survey. “Hispanics are 33% more likely to buy products they see on a sports program.”