Univision JV Moves Toward Launch, Disappointing Upfront

Hobson

Univision and ABC News are looking to launch their Miami-based network by July 1, although that could be delayed until later in 2013, a company executive said. Univision has invested $11 million so far as the English-language news and lifestyle channel targeting Hispanics remains in the prep stage.

Univision has committed to contribute $25 million to the unnamed joint venture, which CFO Andy Hobson said could give marketers “looking for multiple ways to reach” a Hispanic audience another option.

Speaking on an earnings call Friday, Hobson said Univision was “disappointed” with its upfront results, where volume rose by single digits. He said the company outpaced industry trends, but “expectations” were for “more growth among our largest national advertisers.”

Hobson said the Univision networks should produce mid-single-digit growth for the first three quarters of 2013.

In the recently completed July-September period, excluding political dollars and money related to a soccer tournament, the company’s TV segment’s net revenues were up 11.8%. But using one metric, ad dollars at the networks was flat, while the station group posted a low-double-digit bump.

Overall in the third quarter, the TV business saw net revenues up 5.9% to $509.2 million. The radio business was up 3.4% to $90.7 million. OIBDA, the metric the company uses to gauge performance, rose 17.3% to $276.5 million.

 

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