Big year ahead for Univision


Univision Communications doesn’t provide financial guidance to Wall Street, but as they reported revenue gains for Q4, company executives were upbeat about 2010. Local advertising is rebounding in Q1 and the World Cup is always a huge TV advertising vehicle.

Noting that English language TV networks have been reporting huge premiums over the Upfront for scatter pricing, CEO Joe Uva said scatter is up for Univision, but not to the same degree – but then the last Upfront was flattish for his network, while his English counterparts were down. Uva said he is “bullish” on the full-fledged Upfront push that Univision has scheduled for May.

TV revenues were up 7% in Q4 to $420.1. But excluding soccer and political, that gain would have been 9.9%. Operating income before depreciation and amortization was up 14.2% to $189 million, or up 21.2% excluding soccer and political.

Of course, both soccer and political will be big again in 2010. Uva is also bullish on another 2010 event – the US Census. “The Census is expected to indicate that the Hispanic population is the nation’s fastest growing and largest minority – expanding three times as fast as in the general population. As this demographic shifts from first generation [Spanish] speaking consumers to second generation bi-lingual and bi-cultural consumers, their purchasing power will continue to grow and expand. It’s our firm belief that the Census will underscore what we’ve known for the past several years – which is that the US Hispanic demographic is not only growing in size and influence, but in socioeconomic clout and in political power as well. And there’s no company closer to Hispanic Americans than Univision,” Uva declared.