Nielsen Says Adios To Hispanic Ratings

In a move that leading Spanish-language network Univision has eagerly anticipated, Nielsen has formally disbanded its separate rating systems for Hispanic homes and will now count them as part of its general sample.

In data released last week, Nielsen said the number of Hispanic TV homes is 12.1 million, 11% of its sample--marking a 4.4% increase above a year ago, and far outpacing the gain in the population at-large.

Univision, in particular, has pushed for the disbanding as a way to demonstrate to advertisers how it stacks up against English-language networks--where it generally places fifth in prime time. The network has looked to do upfront deals based on the general ratings for some time, but buyers balked in 2006. This year, they've had no choice.

The Nielsen Hispanic ratings system has been in place for 15 years. In addition to the growth in Hispanic TV homes, Nielsen said ad spending on Spanish-language networks, such as Univision, and some cable networks, such as Galavision and mun2, has jumped from $1.8 billion in 2001 to $3.05 billion last year.

"By providing the marketplace with a single source of television ratings regardless of language, Nielsen will allow the television industry to evaluate both English and Spanish-language television and audiences side-by-side," said Sara Erichson, a Nielsen executive vice president.



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