Buoyed By Ratings Increases, TelevisaUnivision Sees Volume Gains in Upfront

TelevisaUnivision had something to sell in this year’s TV upfront market that many of its English-language counterparts did not: growing linear audiences.

The Spanish-language media giant has finished its upfront negotiations and expects to see rising volume of advance commitments for its advertising, according to a person familiar with the matter. This person says TelevisaUnivision anticipates a double-digit-percentage increase in volume, with CPMs, or the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers, rising as much as 8% to 9%.

Like other TV networks in the midst of selling upfront inventory this year, TelevisaUnivision noted significant advertiser interest in sports and streaming. Advertisers proved interested in the company’s soccer broadcasts, and saw ad investment in its streaming-video outlet, ViX more than double. According to the person familiar with the matter, 70% of clients who made investments in linear TV inventory also purchased ad time on ViX to gain incremental reach.

This is the first upfront completed by the company since Univison and Grupo Televisa late last year completed a $4.8 billion deal and vowed to create a new streaming outlet out of one Univision had already launched called PrendeTV. Streaming serves a different purpose than it might for others. “We went into streaming because it was a destination for our consumers, not because we needed it” to generate impressions to offset shortfalls in linear ratings, Donna Speciale, president of U.S. sales and marketing for TelevisaUnivision, told Variety in May. “We didn’t need it. Our audience craved it.”

TelevisaUnivision saw growth in commitments from technology, pharmaceutical and financial advertisers. The new outlays from the latter two are significant for the company, which has been working to increase revenue from those sectors, which have not spent as heavily on Spanish-language media in the past.

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