Univision outperforms in radio and TV


Excluding soccer tournaments and political, Univision reports that Q2 revenues were up 0.4%, so its core business is performing much better than its peers. In absolute terms, radio was nearly flat, down 0.3%, while television, most affected by the lack of soccer advertising from last year, saw revenues decline 5.8%. The company is also crowing that the Univision Network is now #3 in its target 18-34 demo, behind only Fox and ABC.

Privately owned Univision, which has public bonds, does not provide formal forward guidance to Wall Street. But when asked about market conditions, CFO Andrew Hobson noted that in past recessions Univision tended to hold up better than its English-language peers, going to flat, but not negative growth. Excluding the impact of political and soccer, that flattish performance is what Univision is expecting for the back half of 2008.

Compared to Q2 2007 results, Univision reported that Q2 revenues were down 4.3% to $533.1 million and operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) declined 10.9% to $219.9 million. But both the Copa America and Copa Oro were played in 2007 and those soccer tournaments contributed $26.1 million to Q2 revenues. Excluding soccer and political, both variables controlled by the calendar, Q2 core ad revenues were up 2.2% and OIBDA was down 2.8%.

Television revenues were down 5.8% to $411 million and OIBDA down 12.3% to $169.5 million. Excluding soccer and political, though, TV was up 0.3% and OIBDA down 4.1%. President and COO Ray Rodriguez was particularly proud of the TV division’s ratings gains. In addition to the Univision Network achieving the #3 spot nationwide for the 18-34 demo, he noted that KMEX-TV Los Angeles held onto the number one position 18-49 throughout Q2 among all local television stations in the United States, regardless of language.

Univision Radio did far better than the overall radio industry in Q2, with revenues down only 0.3% to $111.9 million. OIBDA fell 3.6% to $48.2 million.

The Internet division was a disappointment, with revenues down over 11% to $10.2 million and OIBDA cut nearly in half to $2.2 million. Hobson noted that the company recently parted ways with the head of the operation and new management is being put in place.