Spanish-language broadcaster Univision will make a streaming-video presentation to advertisers on May 12, the latest of the traditional media companies to announce a formal business presentation to Madison Avenue in the wake of the disruption spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
Univision executives plan to discuss the advertising marketplace and the effects of the contagion on business, according to a company spokesman, as well as offer “more color on our activities plus release new primary research on the Hispanic consumer.” Univision had originally planned to hold its “upfront” showcase on May 12, part of the opening of the annual ad sales market that takes place between U.S. media companies and advertisers. NBCUniversal has scheduled a similar presentation for May 11.
All the major U.S. media companies in March scuttled their traditional upfront showcases.
Univision may enjoy a more advantageous position that some of its English-broadcasting rivals. Speaking to Variety earlier this month, Steve Mandala, president of ad sales and marketing for the company (above, pictured), said its schedule is stocked with original programming for months to come. Many of its primetime scripted telenovelas have a long-lead production process. “We produce or co-produce 90% of our programming. We are fully set through at least January of 2021,” Mandala said. “We will have original episodes for the entire year. We don’t do any repeats and we don’t intend to going forward, either.”
Many productions of original scripted programming in the pipeline for U.S. TV have been suspended, crimped by the social-distancing rules aimed at preventing more transmission of coronavirus.
Univision is slated to be majority-controlled by former Viacom finance chief Wade Davis and private-equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners when a deal is completed later this year.
Like other broadcasters, Univision is likely to face headwinds. Many advertisers – particularly those in the travel, movie and automotive categories – are trying to navigate a climate in which consumers shelter at home and in which vast amounts of consumer spending has been curtailed. While some TV sponsors have indicated they are ready to make advertising commitments now, as one would do in a typical market, others are pressing for a sales process to take place in September or October, when they can make purchases for 2021.