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Spanish-language TV powerhouse TelevisaUnivision said on Tuesday that its revenue would have increased 12.2 percent to more than $1 billion in the first quarter when looking at its combined business created by a $4.8 billion mega-merger at the end of January.
The giant, which combines the assets of U.S. Spanish-language media firm Univision with the content and production assets of Mexican TV giant Televisa, is led by CEO Wade Davis, a former CFO of what at the time was Viacom, with Alfonso de Angoitia serving as executive chair of the board. It reported pro forma results for the first quarter that “assume that the Televisa content business acquisition occurred on January 1, 2021.”
TelevisaUnivision’s advertising revenue in the first quarter increased 12.0 percent on that basis to $569 million, including a 14.3 percent gain in U.S. advertising revenue, “driven by the very successful 2021/2022 upfront, which had the highest volume and price growth in the company’s history, new brand activations, growth in previously low-volume accounts and improvements in all major sectors.” Subscription and licensing revenue rose 14.3 percent to $407 million.
Pro-forma operating income before depreciation and amortization, a key profitability metric, reached $397 million, compared with $372 million in the year-ago period. Quarterly earnings, for which the company didn’t provide pro-forma figures, came in at $36 million, compared with $66 million in the year-ago period.
The company launched streaming service VIX, a free, advertising-supported video on demand service, at the end of March and is preparing for the launch of subscription VOD service VIX+ in the second half of 2022.
“Our first quarter of 2022 clearly demonstrated the great potential of our now combined company,” said Davis. “We continue to move forward as the fastest-growing media and entertainment company. We’re seeing fantastic results across the board, including ad sales and distribution revenue growing double digits, which makes us very optimistic about the rest of the year.”
About the firm’s streaming strategy, he said: “On March 31, 2022, we unveiled our streaming service, ViX, introducing our advertising VOD tier to tremendous excitement, and this is just the beginning. Our growth-oriented strategy is supported by ratings increasing 23 percent (at) the Univision network, the highest among all major U.S. networks. In Mexico, we further distanced ourselves from the competition with 60 percent market share of weekday broadcast. I am ecstatic to build upon this momentum with a world-class team that is already working as one.”
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