Univision Flagship Makes Nielsen History, Wins New York Ratings Sweep

Univision's WXTV in New York made some history--and at the same time gave Nielsen Media Research a sigh of relief--by becoming the first Spanish-language station to win a sweep period with the highest-rated prime-time schedule among all New York stations, regardless of language.

WXTV became the number one station in prime time in New York City--the largest TV market--in the July sweep period, beating all English and Spanish-language stations in the adults 18-49 and 25-54 demographics. WXTV pulled in 203,000 viewers for 18-49; and 230,000 for 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research. WCBS came in second place in 18-49, with 185,000 viewers.

"This is an indication of the changing demographic scene," said Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming for the station ad sales rep, Katz Television Group. "We'll see more of this--not less."

For Nielsen, this is good news, because the demographic data was collected from the new local people meters. Critics have said that minorities--especially Hispanic and Afro-American viewers--are underreported with LPMs.



WXTV also had the top-rated prime-time show overall in New York. WXTV's telenovela, "La Madrastra," ("The Stepmother"), earned 352,000 18-49 viewers.

Program analysts say this performance is somewhat remarkable in that Spanish-language households only represent 23.9 percent--not even a quarter--of the New York television market households. Katz's Carroll explains: "Hispanic TV viewers tend to be younger, and gravitate towards just a few Spanish-language stations."

WXTV had a taste of this success early this month when the station posted the top-rated 11:00 p.m. local newscast--for the first time ever--among adults 18-49 on August 2, scoring a 1.5 rating/4 share. WABC, WCBS, WNBC, and WNJU (NBC Universal's Telemundo station) tied for second with a 1.4/4.

In Los Angeles, Univision's KMEX, another Spanish-language station, has already been hitting some of these marks. KMEX has been number one with the highest prime-time ratings in every reporting period since LPMs were launched in Los Angeles.

Still, analysts warn that WXTV may not just yet be establishing a winning streak, as its sister station KMEX has done. Said Carroll: "We are talking about the summer, where viewing is different than the regular season."

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