Univision Chief Executive Randy Falco (Stephen Lovekin / Getty…)
Univision Communications notched some milestones during the first fiscal quarter of this year, including beating beleaguered NBC during the February sweeps.
The privately held Spanish-language media company on Tuesday released its first-quarter earnings, which saw a 6.4% increase in revenue to $562 million. During the first quarter of 2012, the company generated $528 million in revenue.
For the quarter ended March 31, net income came in at $9 million, compared with a $14-million loss in the first quarter of 2012.
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Univision is owned by a consortium of investors, including Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners, Texas Pacific Group and Mexico's largest media company, Grupo Televisa.
Univision's digital operations experienced a growth spurt. The company's Internet and mobile platforms attracted 150 million video impressions during the three months. Digital revenue in the first quarter increased 23% to $14.9 million. The Univision network's signature awards show, "Premio lo Nuestro," increased its digital audience by 37% compared with the previous year, the company said.
Television revenue was up 6.5% to $478.7 million. The flagship Univision network is the fifth-largest television network in the U.S.
In an industry in which shrinking prime-time ratings are the norm, Univision's first-quarter ratings climbed 4% in the advertiser-preferred category of viewers age 18 to 49. Univision also negotiated a retransmission deal with leading distributor DirecTV.
Radio revenue was up 2.4% to $68.4 million, the company said.
Univision is betting on the gains translating into significantly higher ad revenue when the TV advertising sales season gears up next month in New York.
"We are confident that these important milestones are building significant positive momentum leading to what we anticipate will be a successful upfront in May," Chief Executive Randy Falco said in a statement.
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