Univision Sees Heavier Demand for Ads as Upfront Wraps (EXCLUSIVE)

Madison Avenue seems to have more to say to Spanish-speaking TV viewers.

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision expects the volume of advance advertising commitments for its next programming cycle to rise after wrapping its negotiations in TV’s annual “upfront” market, according to a person familiar with the matter. This person says Univision saw its overall volume grow between 5% and 6% over last year’s efforts, driven in part by an influx of new advertisers and expanded budgets from current clients.

The results represent Univision’s best from an upfront market in four years, this person said.

The company’s ad-sales efforts come to light after it announced last week that its board of directors was exploring strategic options, which could include a potential sale, and hired Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Moelis & Company LLC and LionTree LLC as financial advisors to assist with the process.

Many media companies have struck favorable terms in this year’s “upfront,” when U.S. TV networks and advertisers haggle over prices for billions of dollars in advertising inventory. While linear TV is losing live viewership steadily to on-demand streaming video, Madison Avenue has yet to be convinced fully of the value of some of its newer options. Marketers are frustrated by the low quality of some video available on YouTube and skeptical of some of the measurement of audience available from Facebook. What’s more, some video-streaming giants, such as Netflix and Amazon, do not incorporate traditional video commercials into their video options.

Univision, like several other big TV networks, pressed for increases in the rates it charges to reach 1,000 consumers, a measure known as a CPM that is critical to these annual negotiations. Univision sought CPM increases in the mid-single-digit percentage range, according to the person familiar with the situation, double what it was able to secure in last year’s negotiations.

Ad demand was bolstered by telecommunications advertisers, tech marketers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and retailers, according to the person familiar with the talks, while demand was less robust from some of the nation’s big advertisers of consumer packaged goods.

Univision took in nearly 1.55 billion in advertising in 2018, according to the company’s 2018 financial report,  marking a 9.4% dip from the nearly $1.71 billion it secured in 2017. Upfront commitments represent directional indicators, not cold, hard cash. Advertisers can reallocate the money they vow to spend, so there’s little to tie market results to actual figures.

More TV

  • Red Arrow Studios Boss James Baker

    Red Arrow Studios Boss James Baker Says Flexibility, Not Size, Is Key

    The goalposts have shifted for international production and distribution groups, says James Baker, president of Red Arrow Studios. “The old notion that size is everything is changing,” Baker, a former exec at Sky and Al Gore’s Current TV, tells Variety. “It’s now much more how flexible can you be to respond to a change in [...]

  • Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre,

    International TV Newswire: Streaming Sports, Gen Z on Power, Dutch Detectives & More

    In this week’s International TV Newswire, catch up on Amazon’s soccer push, Gen Z’s thoughts on power structures, DAZN’s newest acquisitions in Europe, a rebooted detective drama in Amsterdam, A+E Networks executive shake-up in Asia and a new international animation alliance between Mondo TV Group and German upstart Toon2Tango. Amazon Picks up Another Soccer Docu-Series: [...]

  • Pinewood Studios James Bond

    Netflix's Shepperton Studios Deal Is Stretching the U.K.'s Production Limits

    Netflix’s huge new hub at Shepperton Studios outside London is a further fillip for Britain’s booming production sector. Amid jitters over Brexit and its effects on the economy, the streaming giant’s commitment is a vote of confidence in the U.K. entertainment industry and a continuing source of local jobs. But the decision by Netflix to [...]

  • BBC ITV BritBox Streaming

    BritBox to Roll Out in the U.K. in Fourth Quarter

    British broadcasters the BBC and ITV have formally agreed to launch their joint streaming service, BritBox, in the U.K. in the fourth quarter of 2019. It will be priced at £5.99 per month, making it the same price as the cheapest Netflix subscription in the U.K. ITV will control BritBox, holding a 90% stake. The [...]

  • Kamala Harris

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Face Rematch in Next Democratic Debate

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris will have the opportunity to square off again in the second debate among Democratic hopefuls vying for their party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election CNN, which will broadcast the next round of debates on July 30 and 31, televised a draw Thursday night that decided [...]

  • Jon Wax

    Jon Wax Joins Amazon Studios as Head of Genre Programming

    YouTube’s head of scripted programming Jon Wax is joining Amazon Studios as its head of genre programming, Variety has learned. Wax will take up the position recently vacated by Sharon Tal Yguado. He had joined YouTube in August 2017, heading up drama, unscripted and current programming for YouTube’s premium channel. Prior to that, he had [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content