Televisa sees World Cup sales spike

More than 12 mil tune in to online coverage also

MEXICO CITY -- Televisa scored big with its World Cup programming in soccer-mad Mexico, as second-quarter net sales rose 14% for the nation's top network.

Broadcast and pay TV, Televisa's main revenue generators, saw a significant spike in sales thanks in part to soccer matches and programs produced around the World Cup. Televisa-owned satcaster Sky Mexico added a record-high 250,000 clients during the period, bringing its subscriber base to 2.4 million. Televisa and rival broadcaster TV Azteca's free-to-air channels enjoyed exceptionally high ratings for the World Cup opener between Mexico and South Africa.

Futbol also contributed to a boost in online advertising for Televisa's digital division. An initial report in mid-June said more than 12 million people had tuned in to Televisa's online coverage of the World Cup; this year marks the first time that Televisa has aired free online transmissions of the matches.

Overall, however, Televisa reported a 1.2% drop in quarterly net income due to higher financing costs and taxes. Additionally, Televisa invested heavily in transporting equipment to South Africa, plus it footed the bill for a large crew of about 200 people covering the world's most-watched soccer tournament.

Televisa raked in about $100 million in ad revenue from the previous World Cup, according to media analysts' estimates, yet the windfall could come in slightly higher this time with online advertising factored in. The network did not specify how much it has earned from 2010 World Cup-generated revenue.