Taking a hit from its ongoing carriage dispute issues with Dish Network, Univision Communications’ TV advertising revenue sank nearly 7% in the fourth quarter.
Media networks’ advertising was $337.0 million in the last quarter of 2018 compared to $360.8 million, as a result of its being off the satellite pay TV service -- as well as lower spending primarily in the retail, telecommunications and automotive sectors.
The drop is partly attributable to the “non-cash impact of audience guarantees” in terms of makegood inventory, from viewership declines.
Univision says these makegood audience guarantees are expected to be fulfilled in upcoming periods. Taking out the audience guarantees issue, the company says advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 would have been the same versus the prior-year period.
In its fourth-quarter financial report, Univision, a privately held company, says some of this was offset by increases in scatter advertising pricing -- as well as growth in local station’s advertising revenue.
In addition, as a result of it being off the air on Dish Network (which currently has 10 million satellite subscribers, and 2.4 million from its internet-delivered Sling TV service), Univision had a big 17.7% decline in subscriber-carriage fee revenue to $219.1 million.
Dish Network dropped Univision’s main channel in June 2018. Other Univision networks, such as its Univision Deportes and lifestyle channels were also dropped last year.
Univision’s content licensing revenue more than doubled during the period -- to $22.6 million versus $9.1 million for the same prior period.
Radio dropped 9.0% to $71.9 million due to a decrease in non-advertising revenue. Advertising revenue gained 4.4% to $66.2 million.
Company-wide revenue was down 9% to $688.6 million, posting a net loss of $72.7 million compared to net income of $387 million in the year-earlier period.