×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dish Network Battle, Gizmodo Losses Take Toll on Univision Q4 Earnings

Impacted by its ongoing dispute with Dish Network, increased expenses and impairment losses, U.S. Hispanic media giant Univision reported an 8.9% decline in fourth-quarter total revenue to $688.5 million from $755.5 million in the year prior.

In comparing the full year of 2018 with the previous year, total revenue fell 7.6% to $2,713.8 million from $2,937.3 million. Total core revenue dipped 5.4% to $2,674.2 million from $2,827.3 million.

Last year, the Company began the process of selling its discontinued English-language digital businesses, including the Gizmodo Media Group, The Onion and Fusion Digital. According to Univision, the loss from the Gizmodo group in the quarter was $32.5 million compared to $3.0 million for the year-ago period. The Wall Street Journal reported that Univision has written down the value of those digital assets to $15 million, down from $135 million.

“Univision serves a unique audience,” said Vince Sadusky, CEO of Univision. “Hispanic America is driving population and GDP growth and will continue to do so for decades,” he said, adding: “Our strategic focus on serving this core audience has recently resulted in viewership growth, as from the third to fourth quarter, we saw increases in our primetime ratings in all key demographics at a time when all other major networks experienced declines.”

Sadusky, in his second earnings call since taking over the helm from Randy Falco, cited the “gangbuster ratings” of its “Dancing with the Stars” adaptation, “Mira Quien Baila” which scored highest among the 18-24 demo.

Sadusky stressed that Univision was focusing on reinforcing its core business, and hailed its long-time programming supplier, Mexico’s Televisa, for reinvigorating its programming. Company has also turned to more acquisitions of canned shows and formats, more soccer content, live shows and local news to bolster its programming.

Operating expenses rose due to its newly acquired UEFA soccer rights, more Mexican soccer league matches and a higher Televisa licensing fee. Direct operating expenses jumped 11% to $287.6 million, with selling, general and administrative expenses increasing 11 percent to $176.5 million.

Sadusky concurred with Dish president and CEO Erik Carlson’s comments a day earlier that the contract dispute talks between the two companies remained at a stalemate.

“We continue to have discussions with Dish. It’s clear that not doing a deal for both companies is harmful to both companies. It’s just down to a matter of value,” said Sadusky who observed that subscribers have been migrating to Dish’s rival companies.

“Our other partners that are paying us a fair amount, we have a good relationship with and believe continue to benefit from the migration of Dish viewers,” he said. Dish’s satellite service subs fell below the 10 million mark for the first time in 15 years, which it partly attributed to its Univision and HBO blackouts.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Norman LearVariety Showrunners Dinner, Inside, Los

    Norman Lear Accepts Creative Conscience Award at Variety Showrunners Dinner

    Norman Lear accepted Variety’s Creative Conscience Award Tuesday night at the publication’s annual Showrunners Dinner. The award honors Lear for his work promoting important causes both inside and outside the entertainment industry. Lear, who appears on the current cover of Variety, recently renewed his overall deal at Sony Pictures Television. Speaking at the Showrunners Dinner [...]

  • Maria Bartiromo

    Maria Bartiromo Renews Pact With Fox News Media

    Maria Bartiromo will be on Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel for a while longer, after striking a new multi-year deal with Fox News Media. “Her exceptional insights and incredible work ethic have been of tremendous value to Fox Business and Fox News and we’re thrilled to have her continue anchoring each of her [...]

  • Lisa Simpson Tapped as Head of

    Lisa Simpson Tapped as New Head of Talent Relations at Fox Entertainment

    Fox Entertainment has appointed Lisa Simpson as its new head of talent relations. In her senior vice president role, Simpson will oversee the talent relations team, providing strategic support to all of the company’s talent and their representatives. She will report directly to Jean Guerin, executive vice president of publicity and corporate communications at the [...]

  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar 'Was Never Approached' for

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar Says He 'Was Never Approached' for 'Saved by the Bell' Revival

    The Bayside gang is reuniting, but Zack Morris isn’t invited — for the time being, at least. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played the good-looking yet incorrigible Zack in NBC’s beloved “Saved by the Bell” series, said he was never approached to take part in the show’s forthcoming TV sequel, which will reprise roles from Mario Lopez [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    How Showrunners Handled Staffing Season Amid WGA-ATA Feud

    This year’s TV staffing season wasn’t quite like any before. Described as a “free for all” by “Batwoman” creator and showrunner Caroline Dries and “like the Wild Wild West” by “Legacies” creator and showrunner Julie Plec, the WGA-ATA debacle has had deep-seated effects on the way showrunners staff their writers’ rooms and search for fresh [...]

  • 2020 TV Season Preview

    How 2020's Fall TV Season Is Already Shaping Up

    Aiming to stand out in a crowded field, broadcasters this season have leaned on the stability of their schedules and the return of established hits. But for many of the same reasons, they’ve also begun to seed the ground for next year’s crop of shows, considering that top performers like “How to Get Away With [...]

  • David E Kelley

    Looking Back on David E. Kelley's History-Making Double Emmy Wins 20 Years Later

    David E. Kelley thought there’d been a mistake. On Sept. 12, 1999, the prolific showrunner was backstage at the Shrine Auditorium, having just accepted the best drama series Emmy for “The Practice,” when he heard his name called again. Kelley immediately figured that the producers were summoning him out again to take the award away [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content