“The advertising business is the strongest we’ve seen in a long time. We’re solidifying business and activating new accounts,” Univision CEO Randy Falco told investors and analysts on the company’s earnings call. The television upfront looks very promising, he believes.
Those new accounts include pharma. Auto remains strong and the company is adding movie studio’s to its list of advertising clients.
Still, Univision has worked hard to diversify its business over the last five years to depend less on advertising. The radio and television has expanded content offerings by expanding its distribution platforms (to include OTT for example and its cable sports network) and digital and building on our Enterprise products and services division and community empowerment initiatives which all serve to on its enterprise products and services division and community empowerment Initiatives.
“Univision continues to be the number one network for U.S. Hispanics. They come to Univision when key events happen,” said Falco, like the Pope’s visit and the hunt for El Chapo.
Univision captures 50% of U.S. Hispanic television viewing, which makes “us a critical advertising partner,” said Falco, who added that “multi-culturals” are rapidly approaching 40% of the U.S. population.
On the video side, Univision is growing its non-advertising revenue content licensing fees and is seeing stability with its MVPD partners.
The company is changing the kinds of telenovelas it produces to appeal to a younger audience; they’ll be shorter, include scripts from different countries and will include some U.S. locations to their shooting schedule “which makes them more relevant to our U.S. audience,” said Falco.
Cash flow nearly doubled in the quarter to $11.4 million mainly due to a sale leaseback from a Los Angeles office.
Radio revenues fell 8.2% to $58.6 million due to a drop in national advertising; the company is improving its programming strategy to offset the loss.
Asked about the television upfront, Falco said the second quarter is always a good barometer for how upfront will unfold. It looks “very strong” for both English and Spanish-language programmers. Executives agreed advertisers held back last year and will make up for that this year.
Total company Q1 revenue was $660.4 million, up 5.7% and net income was $65.7 million, up from $205.4 million.
Advertising revenue for the first quarter increased 5.1% to $ 429.6 million from $ 408.8million. million. Advertising revenue in 2016 and 2015 included political/advocacy advertising revenue of $8.2 million. Advertising revenue in 2016 and 2015 included political / advocacy advertising revenue of $ 8.2 million and $14.1 million, respectively and $ 14.1 million, respectively.
Total revenue for Univision’s Media Networks increased by 7.3% to $601.8 million compared to $560.9 million for the same period in 2015. Excluding political/advocacy$ 601.8 million to $ 560.9 million compared for the same period in 2015.