Univision swung to a loss of $27.3 million in the second quarter compared with income of $92 million in the same period a year ago.
The main source of red ink was a 40% plunge in advertising, which reflected the extent of COVID-19’s onslaught, especially on sports broadcasts.
The privately held Hispanic media company’s total revenue fell 24% to $531. In its Media Networks division, ad revenue dropped to $210 million from $347.2 million a year ago.
The long-awaited sale of a majority stake of Univision, announced in February, is still pending. A consortium led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis said it was buying 64% of the company for about $526 million. Mexico-based Grupo Televisa plans to retain the remaining 36%.
Vince Sadusky, who became CEO of Univision in 2018 and has led a “back to basics” streamlining and refocusing of its operations, said the worst is hopefully over as far as the pandemic. In the earnings release, he cited the return of major soccer programming as cause for optimism.
“While we are not immune to the economic fallout from COVID-19, with a solid pipeline of entertainment content, with Liga MX’s regular season now underway and with the UEFA Champions League Tournament about to begin, we hope to have turned a corner from the worst of the pandemic’s economic impact,” Sadusky said. “In addition, despite the economic headwinds, we have accessed the capital markets and our successful series of debt refinancings have strengthened our balance sheet and validated our optimism.”
Another positive sign, Sadusky noted, was the flagship broadcast network finishing No. 1 among U.S. TV viewers aged 18 to 34 in any language for 10 consecutive weeks during the quarter.
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