Marketers looking for proof of their ad-dollar value in
Spanish-language primetime television can find a load of it in the fourth-quarter
Nielsen ratings data. The Big Two networks -- Univision and Telemundo -- grew
both in viewership and the advertiser-desired 18-49 numbers; meanwhile, most
English-language broadcasters saw double-digit primetime declines.
Through mid-December, Univision averaged 3.7 million viewers
per primetime night this season, up 4.6%, while Telemundo averaged 1.2 million
viewers in primetime, up 5.2%. In the 18-49 demo, Univision averaged a 1.49
rating, up a slight 0.7% from a 1.48 last season, while Telemundo was up 4.2%
to a 0.50 from a .048. Yes, the percentage gains are small and off lower bases
of total viewers, but at least they well rival the hefty declines shown by
most of their English-language broadcast network counterparts.
Univision Communications' other broadcast network, TeleFutura,
which does not air novelas in primetime but instead offers English-language
movies and other types of programming -- albeit off another smaller audience
base -- was up 35.6% in viewers to 687,000 per night, and up 26.1% in the 18-49
demo to a 0.29.
And come next Monday, TeleFutura gets a total revamping,
starting with a new name: UniMás. Beginning Jan. 7, UniMás will target a
more specific Hispanic millennial audience, and premiere some new
primetime programming, including a 9 p.m. crime drama, Made in Cartagena, and a 10 p.m. novela, Quién Eres Tú? (Who Are You?).
The news for the Spanish-language networks was not all good,
however. Smaller distribution networks Azteca and Estrella TV both showed hefty
declines in viewership and demo ratings in the fourth quarter. Azteca
viewership was down 38.8% to 130,000 viewers per night in primetime, while
Estrella TV was down 4% to 220,000 viewers. In the 18-49 demo in primetime,
Azteca was down 25% to a 0.06, while Estrella was down 11.1% to 0.08%.
But those aforementioned gains by Univision and Telemundo
are even more impressive when factoring in that new Spanish-language broadcast
network MundoFox began airing programming in the fourth quarter.
And those Univision and Telemundo gains came from new female
viewers; both networks lost male viewers in fourth quarter. Univision's male
18-49 ratings dropped 9% in the fourth quarter to a 1.21 in primetime, but its
female 18-49 rating grew 7.9% to a 1.77. Telemundo's male 18-49 ratings
declined 2.2% in the fourth quarter to a 0.44, but female 18-49 increased by
9.8% to a 0.56.
Through a similar mid-December period, Fox was down in live-plus-same-day
viewing of regularly scheduled primetime programming by 22.4% to 5.8 million;
ABC was down 10.5% to 7.7 million; CBS was down 6.9% to 10.6 million; and The
CW was down 3.6% to 1.6 million. NBC was up 15.2% to 8.4 million. In the 18-49
demo, Fox was down 21.4% to a 2.2; CBS was down 14.3% to a 2.4; The CW was down
14.3% to a 0.6%; and ABC was down 12.5% to a 2.1. NBC was up 20% to a 3.0.
What's working for Univision and Telemundo in primetime?
What else: novelas. Univision's primetime novelas Por Ella Soy Eva(For
Her, I'm Eva) at 8 p.m., Amores Verdaderos (True Love) at
9 p.m. and Amor Bravío (Fierce
Love) at 10 p.m. have all produced higher 18-49 ratings on various nights
-- and on many more nights higher 18-34 ratings -- than many of the
English-language broadcast networks they compete against head-to-head. Abismo
de Pasión (Abyss of Passion), which concluded its 9 p.m. run in
early November, averaged 5.5 million total viewers and 2.9 million adults 18-49
for its finale.
Telemundo's three primetime novelas, Pablo Escobar: El
Patron del Mal (Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord), Una Maid en
Manhattan (Maid in Manhattan) and Corazón Valiente (Fearless
Heart) all rank among the top 15 highest-rated primetime programs in
Telemundo history. Pablo Escobar has averaged 1.7 million viewers per
night, Una Maid en Manhattan has averaged 1.5 million and Corazón Valiente
has averaged 1.3 million. Each has produced additional viewership on
Meanwhile, Univision continues to make itself a major player
in primetime overall. Among adults 18-49 during the entirety of last year,
through mid-December, Univision scored higher ratings than ABC for at least one
primetime show on 145 nights; the network beat CBS for at least one primetime
show on 129 nights and Fox on 128 nights. Among adults 18-34, Univision scored
higher ratings than ABC for at least one show on 244 nights, higher than CBS on
269 nights and higher than Fox on 143 nights.
Overall in primetime during 2012, Univision has beaten at
least one of the English-language networks 18-49 in at least one primetime
period on 279 nights, and delivered higher 18-34 ratings than at least one of
the English-language networks on 333 nights.
Univision also rightly touts to advertisers that it finished
2012 with a higher percentage of live viewership -- 92% -- among adults 18-49
during primetime, than CBS (70%), NBC (67%), ABC (66%), Fox (64%) and The CW
Here's another selling point Univision continues
to hammer home to marketers: For the sixth consecutive year, the network
finished first on Friday nights among all the broadcast networks in the adults
18-34 demo, beating its closest competitor, NBC, by 31%. Overall, for the
entire year 2012, Univision finished fourth in the 18-34 demo in primetime
among all networks, ahead of CBS on the broadcast side and higher than all