Advertising and Marketing

Univision Nearing World Cup Sell Out

Less than 10% of inventory remains; ESPN expected to update sales soon 3/16/2010 08:47:53 PM Eastern

Univision
Communications is nearing the final stretch of its 2010 FIFA World Cup
sales
efforts. "We are past 90% in sales," said David Lawenda, president
advertising
sales, commenting on the month long global soccer competition, which
begins
June 11 in host nation South
Africa.

Lawenda
would not cite the cost of an individual spot in the game since the
event is
sold in strips across the company's three outlets, which include
broadcast
networks Univision and Telefutura and cable channel Galavision. The
games are
also being streamed live online.

"There
has been enormous interest in World Cup. It is a big event, but it's a
difficult
sell given the economy," Lawenda said. "However, we are excited about where we are at this point."
Univision
has also had to sell against other major sports events this year,
including NBC
Universal's Olympic Games and CBS' Super Bowl and NCAA basketball
tournament.

Separately,
agencies say the most valuable advertising opportunities are in-game, and
that's
limited with soccer coverage, which involves near-constant action and
just a
single half-time break.

The
broadcaster has deals with Coca-Cola Co., Verizon, T-Mobile, Budweiser
and
McDonalds. Other sponsors are expected to reveal their involvement in
the coming
weeks.

Univision's
sales team began selling the event soon after NBC closed its Beijing
Olympic coverage
back in mid-2008. By last June, sales stood at 65%.

While
the Univision sales team is looking at the home stretch on a national
level,
Lawenda says there is a little more opportunity on the local level.
Univision
has 64 owned-and-operated stations.

While
Univision is not discussing ad revenue at this stage, the 2006 FIFA
World Cup
netted Univision in the region of $180 million, according to reports.
The
Hispanic-targeted media giant spent about $325 million for U.S. for the
2010 and 2014 World Cups. The company bid alongside Walt Disney Co.,
which spent
$100 million on English-language rights over the same period.

ESPN
execs say they are prepping an announcement about sponsor involvement in
their
side of the business.

"We
are very pleased with the interest we've had from advertisers for the
World Cup
and will be making an announcement of sponsor involvement shortly," said sales chief Ed
Erhardt.

The
World Cup attracts a much bigger global audience than than Super Bowl, though
the
potential U.S. viewership is expected to be
between 50 million to 60 million people. By comparison, CBS's Super Bowl
reached
a record 106 million viewers in February.

September
October