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Digital and Sports Drive Growth in Univision’s Third Quarter

Leading Spanish-language media company Univision reported robust digital and soccer viewership as key growth drivers in its third quarter financials report. A further boost came from higher subscriber fees as well as its return to Dish Network after an almost nine-month carriage dispute with the satellite pay-TV service was resolved last spring.

Digital video views of Univision rose 70%, resulting in a 45% rise in digital ad revenue thanks to the company’s investment in news and mobile apps, said CEO Vincent Sadusky in an earnings call Wednesday morning.

The company’s sports channel, TUDN, is the fastest-growing sports channel in the country and now ranks as the 4th-largest sports network in the U.S., noted Sadusky.

Sadusky declined to comment any further on Univision’s pending sale. “Consolidation in the industry continues and I do think [Univision] is an attractive asset; you could make a strong argument that the company would benefit from a deeper operational relationship with a larger media company,” he noted. “Having said that, we are full steam ahead as a standalone and are really confident in our business plan.”

Univision has been privately owned since 2007 when a consortium composed of Saban Capital Group, Madison Dearborn Partners and Providence Equity Partners bought the company for $12.5 billion. An abandoned IPO might have valued the company at $20 billion. Two years ago, Univision allegedly turned down a $15 billion offer from media mogul John Malone.

Per Univision, revenue for the third quarter of 2019 rose 8.5% to $681.4 million, compared to $628.2 million for the same prior time frame. Core revenue for the third quarter of 2019 grew 2.6% to $675.1 million, compared to $657.7 million for the same prior period.

Its Media Networks advertising revenue for the third quarter increased 2.1% to $322.4 million, compared to $315.8 million for the same prior period, thanks to expanded digital ad revs.

“With a robust primetime slate, the majority of primetime soccer viewership, and strong national and local news, Univision’s audience is consistently competitive with the top English-language broadcast networks and includes a higher concentration of millennial viewers,” Sadusky said.

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