By Cynthia Littleton
Univision Communications posted strong gains in revenue and earnings for the third quarter, powered by increases in non-advertising revenue from subscriber fees, content licensing and spectrum leasing.
Univision, which is expected to mount an IPO this year, reported a 10% year-over-year revenue gain to $801.5 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, with earnings rising 24.2% to $391.4 million.
Advertising revenue was soft in the quarter, declining 2.7% to $517.7 million. The Univision Radio unit was hard hit with an 8.3% drop in ad revenue to $74.1 million. Univision noted that the core company-wide advertising base remained solid, with a gain of 5.8% to $488.7 million if the year-to-year fluctuations from political advertising and its 2014 World Cup and 2015 Gold Cup soccer games were excluded.
In Univision’s Media Networks division covering television, non-advertising revenue spiked 46% to $280.1 million thanks to a $26.6 million gain in subscriber fee revenue for the Univision Deportes sports cabler, a $32.7 million boost from content licensing and a $26 million fee received for allowing an unnamed telecommunications company to use some of the spectrum allocated to a Univision broadcast station in an unspecified market.
Advertising revenue for Media Networks was down 2% in the quarter to $447.3 million.
Univision also took a $19.5 million write-down for unspecified programming rights in the quarter.
“Our strong operational performance is powered by our unique relationship with our audience, our reach across platforms and our broad portfolio – which differentiates us from our competition and puts us in a strong position,” said Univision president-CEO Randy Falco.