Growth in recovering advertising categories from the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago -- automotive, healthcare and beverage, among other factors -- gave Univision Communications an overall 7% rise in first-quarter advertising to $300.4 million for its media-TV networks.
Leaving out political advertising showed better results -- an 11% hike to $288.8 million for core advertising. Political and advocacy advertising sank by about half in the period to $11.6 million, down from $20.9 million.
The Spanish-language media company also credits higher overall advertising revenue from new brand business, as well growth in low-volume accounts.
At the same time, Univision’s radio advertising business sank 15% to $43.4 million from declining automotive and retail spending.
Political and advocacy revenue was up slightly to $5.1 million in 2021, compared to $4.9 million in the year-ago period.
Overall, media networks showed revenue at a slight 1.6% decline to $578.7 million, due to lower content licensing revenue -- which includes subscriber fees and program licensing business.
Company-wide revenue was down 2.8% to $617 million. Net income grew $66.0 million, compared to $11.7 million for the same prior period.
Univision says its new free, ad-supported streaming platform -- PrendeTV, which launched March 30 -- grew to 900,000 average users in its first month of operation.
In February, Univision said its share of Spanish-language viewership was at 61% — two share points higher than in the same month in 2020.
Recently, Univision struck a deal to acquire content and media assets from the big Mexico-based media company Televisa for $4.5 billion.