Soccer gave Univision a big Q2 boost


Univision’s net revenues shot up 23.2% in Q2 to $639.8 million. A good bit of that was attributable to the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, but CEO Joe Uva noted that revenues on the television side were up double digits excluding soccer.

“We achieved strong results in the second quarter 2010, building on our very solid foundation of performance in the first quarter of the year. We have made significant strides both compared to last year and the previous quarter, growing second quarter 2010 revenues 23% year-over-year and 41% as compared to the first quarter of 2010. In the second quarter, the 2010 FIFA World Cup was without a doubt a tremendous highlight for us and was our most successful World Cup to date. We were thrilled to have offered such a comprehensive and interactive World Cup experience to our viewers on all of our platforms and as a result, we reached all-time record numbers in viewership and visits to our interactive properties. This World Cup was a clear demonstration of the changing demographic makeup of this country, something that we expect to be further supported by the upcoming U.S. Census results. It also highlighted the enormous popularity of soccer among our audience, and we were pleased to take steps during the quarter to expand our soccer coverage by acquiring the exclusive U.S. television and digital rights to all Mexican National Soccer Team games for the next four years,” said Uva.

Television revenues were up 27.9% for the quarter to $530.1 million. Excluding soccer, the company said that was still a gain of 11.4%. Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) was up 21.7% to $232.9 million.

As Univision Radio continued to refuse to subscribe to Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) data (see related story) and sold advertising without ratings in most markets, radio revenues were down 5.5% to $89.9 million. OIBDA was down 6.9% to $32.3 million.

For interactive media, revenues improved 98% from a year ago to $19.8 million, certainly due in no small part to record online audiences for World Cup live streaming and other offerings. OIBDA shot up 1,260% to $6.8 million from only a half million in Q2 of 2009.

Even with the World Cup in the rear view mirror and comps getting tougher later in the year, growth is continuing. CFO Andy Hobson told analysts that pacings are now in the high single digits to low double digits in Q3. That is for the company as a whole – radio, TV and interactive.