HomeNFLSuper Bowl Breakthrough For TelevisaUnivision Drew Millions Of Casual Spanish-Language Viewers, Bringing...

Super Bowl Breakthrough For TelevisaUnivision Drew Millions Of Casual Spanish-Language Viewers, Bringing “A Lot Of Upside”, CEO Says


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Super Bowl LVIII broke viewership records across the board last Sunday, including in one small-but-growing segment: Spanish-language audiences.

Speaking to Wall Street analysts during TelevisaUnivision’s fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Wade Davis said the game was “overwhelmingly successful” and offers “a lot of upside” for the future.

The company had exclusive Spanish-language streaming rights in both the U.S. and Mexico, plus the broadcast exclusive in the U.S. on Univision under a licensing agreement with Paramount’s CBS Sports. The debut Super Bowl on the 62-year-old broadcast network, which succeeded past Super Bowls on cable’s ESPN Deportes, averaged 2.3 million viewers and peaked at 2.6 million. That’s the biggest tune-in since the game started being carried in Spanish in the U.S. in 2014 and a notch above Telemundo’s prior record a year ago, with 1.9 million viewers.

Davis said more than 70% of viewers who watched the Super Bowl on TelevisaUnivision platforms had not watched any of the NFL playoffs. That added population has significant value both for the league and the company, the exec added.

“We’ve been working with the NFL for years, but recently have started ramping up our partnership,” Davis said. “Airing the Super Bowl in the U.S. is a natural evolution in the expansion of this partnership.”

As far as advertising, Davis reflected, “this was an amazing first event for us in the U.S. We set records on the unit rates that we charged, they were non-guaranteed so they behaved in the way that U.S. advertising does.” The broadcast offered “a lot of training of the advertisers. Many of these advertisers didn’t have Super Bowl-ready ads in Spanish. But notwithstanding that, we hit new records in terms of CPMs and we sold out all inventory. The advertisers that were able to create original ads in language and in culture like Toyota and Nissan saw incredible results.”

Davis didn’t indicate any plans for future Super Bowl carriage, but said, “There will be a lot of upside for us and for our clients now that we’ve been through this with them once.”

Asked by an analyst about the broader strategy with sports rights, Davis said, “Our main focus is on soccer. We have been building out our soccer offering and honing down other rights that we see as non-core to the soccer offering over time. We have the highest volume of soccer in the U.S. across broadcast, cable and streaming.” Subscribers to the company’s Vix streaming service, he noted, were able to access 7,000 hours of live soccer in 2023.

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