Net revenues declined 2.4%, but that was against comps that included major soccer tournaments. If you take out both soccer and political, Univision says its Q3 revenues were a little better than flat – up 0.3% – definitely better than most broadcasters. The company is also celebrating a strong start to the new television season.
Univision’s network side, however, outperformed the local TV stations group. Total TV revenues were down 2.3% to $397.2 million. But without soccer/political that was a gain of 0.1%. The network business, also excluding soccer/political, was up 1.8%, but TV station revenues declined 2.4%.
Radio revenues were down for the quarter, falling 3.1% to $102.6 million.
Although he wasn’t present on the call with analysts, CEO Joe Uva issued an upbeat assessment of the quarter: “Despite continuing pressure on the advertising market as a result of the current economic conditions, Univision’s net revenue excluding incremental revenue from major soccer and political increased 0.3% in the third quarter, whereas the television industry decreased 9.4% and the radio industry decreased by 8.6%. The Univision Network is currently boasting its best season start ever with Univision seeing year-to-year audience growth among all major demographics for the first several weeks of the new season. All of the other major networks, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and CW, have seen their own audiences dwindle. Going forward, Univision’s unique ability to consistently out deliver our peers and connect with our audience will position us for continued growth.”
Speaking with analysts, CFO Andrew Hobson noted that the Univision TV network is off to a strong start in the first seven weeks of the new television season, with its 2+ audience gaining 5% according to Nielsen numbers. In the nation’s top markets, he noted that Univision had 22 of the top 25 regularly scheduled programs on television for Adults 18-34 – English or Spanish – in Los Angeles in Q3 and 15 of the top 25 in New York.
While radio revenues were down, Univision noted that its ratings remain strong. Univision Radio stations in Dallas, San Diego, Puerto Rico and Fresno maintained the #1 ranking in those markets among all Adults 25-54 (Hispanic and Non-Hispanic). In addition, Univision Radio had the #1 ranked Spanish-language station among Adults 18-34 and Adults 25-54 in Miami, Dallas, San Antonio, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Fresno, the company said.