TV up, radio down at Univision


Q3 revenues increased 9.1% to $575 million at Univision Communications. Television and Interactive Media were up, but radio was going the wrong direction.

There was not a lot of discussion of Univision Radio in the company’s quarterly conference call. CEO Joe Uva attributed the softness to PPM, both because of Arbitron having to implement improvements to the Portable People Meter ratings system based on its settlement with minority broadcasters and because of Univision Radio stations having to make programming adjustments to adapt to PPM.

Univision Radio revenues were down 7.5% in Q3 to $86.4 million and operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) declined 10.9% to $28.7 million.

The much larger television operation posted revenue growth of 12.1% to $472.8 million. That included about $25.6 million in incremental revenue from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. CFO Andrew Hobson told analysts that the growth percentage was nearly identical for the network operations and the O&O TV stations group. OIBDA for television was up 1% to $200.5 million.

Uva had pointed proudly to ratings gains for the flagship Univision network in proclaiming that it was on track to become the #1 network in the key 18-49 demo. The company provided Nielsen data showing Univision as #2 in Q3 for Adults 18-34 in primetime, beaten only by Fox. Univision noted that its O&O stations were #1 in primetime, regardless of language, during Q3 for Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, San Antonio, Fresno and Bakersfield in 18-49  and in all of those plus Sacramento and Austin for 18-34.

Still small but growing fast is the Interactive Media division. It posted Q3 revenue growth of 36.2% to $15.8 million, with OIBDA up 38.9% to $2.5 million.

Looking ahead, Hobson said Q4 is pacing up in the high single digits for the entire company, with similar pacings for the TV division. Excluding political, pacings are mid to high single digits for the company, with high single digits for TV and flat for radio.