Leading Spanish-language media company Univision reported robust digital and soccer viewership as key growth drivers in its third quarter financials report. A further boost came from higher subscriber fees as well as its return to Dish Network after an almost nine-month carriage dispute with the satellite pay-TV service was resolved last spring.
Digital video views of Univision rose 70%, resulting in a 45% rise in digital ad revenue thanks to the company’s investment in news and mobile apps, said CEO Vincent Sadusky in an earnings call Wednesday morning.
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The company’s sports channel, TUDN, is the fastest-growing sports channel in the country and now ranks as the 4th-largest sports network in the U.S., noted Sadusky.
Sadusky declined to comment any further on Univision’s pending sale. “Consolidation in the industry continues and I do think [Univision] is an attractive asset; you could make a strong argument that the company would benefit from a deeper operational relationship with a larger media company,” he noted. “Having said that, we are full steam ahead as a standalone and are really confident in our business plan.”
Univision has been privately owned since 2007 when a consortium composed of Saban Capital Group, Madison Dearborn Partners and Providence Equity Partners bought the company for $12.5 billion. An abandoned IPO might have valued the company at $20 billion. Two years ago, Univision allegedly turned down a $15 billion offer from media mogul John Malone.
Per Univision, revenue for the third quarter of 2019 rose 8.5% to $681.4 million, compared to $628.2 million for the same prior time frame. Core revenue for the third quarter of 2019 grew 2.6% to $675.1 million, compared to $657.7 million for the same prior period.
Its Media Networks advertising revenue for the third quarter increased 2.1% to $322.4 million, compared to $315.8 million for the same prior period, thanks to expanded digital ad revs.
“With a robust primetime slate, the majority of primetime soccer viewership, and strong national and local news, Univision’s audience is consistently competitive with the top English-language broadcast networks and includes a higher concentration of millennial viewers,” Sadusky said.
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