Univision Blasts PPM As They Announce Financials
February 26, 2010 at 4:27 AM (PT)
UNIVISION COMMUNICATIONS has announced financial results for Q4 and full year ended DECEMBER 31st, 2009. For the fourth quarter of 2009, net revenue increased 2.1% to $515.9 million from $505.2 million in 2008 and adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization1, or OIBDA, decreased 1.4% to $210.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 from $213.5 million in 2008.
For the year ended DECEMBER 31st, 2009, net revenue declined 2.9% to $1,972.5 million from $2,032.4 million in 2008 and OIBDA1 increased 3.2% to $823.4 million from $798.2 million in 2008.
Arbitronâ€™s sample methodology and panel maintenance and recruitment is inherently biased against minorities, including Hispanics and African-Americans.
Pres./CEO JOE UVA said, "UNIVISION made significant strides in many areas in 2009, even while navigating through a very challenging economic environment: we diversified our revenue streams through new retransmission consent agreements and key strategic partnerships; enhanced our future content offerings and production capabilities through the launch of UNIVISION STUDIOS; delivered strong, competitive ratings and maintained our strong leadership positions across all platforms; and effectively managed our balance sheet and strengthened our capital structure for the long-term."
Radio Revs Down 15.8%
Throughout Q4, UNIVISION reported "solid ratings in the markets measured by the
ARBITRON diary method and in HOUSTON, where ARBITRON’s PORTABLE PEOPLE METER is accredited." Revenues were down 15.8% in Q4 to $83.7 million.
UNIVISION RADIO continues to battle with ARBITRON -- refusing to subscribe to and encode PPM. UVA blasted the methodology, saying "ARBITRON’s sample methodology and panel maintenance and recruitment is inherently biased against minorities, including Hispanics and African-Americans. That has to do with in-person recruitment practices, or lack thereof, as well as, we know many minorities, particularly younger Hispanic families are cell phone-only individuals and households. Their recruiting did not reflect accurately the sampling relative to the percentage of population. This is being addressed in a number of ways.
"At the end of the fourth quarter, the House Governement Oversight Committee held a hearing on ARBITRON and required them to get back with a working solution plan to a coalition of minority broadcasters and the MEDIA RATING COUNCIL. It is still ongoing. As you’re aware, ARBITRON’s CEO resigned shortly after that hearing. We are encouraged that the new CEO is being more responsive. However, we continue not to encode in key markets and we’re not subscribing to use the ratings. We know that in order for this to fix itself we have to take some pain here, and we’re prepared to take that pain to get it fixed, because once it is fixed and is accredited by the MRC it’ll reflect an upside to this business."
CFO ANDY HOBSON also took a shot at PPM, adding "ARBITRON knows how to fix their samples -- and they’ve done it in HOUSTON, which is one of only three markets where they’ve been accredited by MRC -- out of 33 now in operation -- so they know how to do it. It’s more expense than they want to incur, and from our point of view, they need to make the right business decision as the monopolist supplier of radio research to produce intellectually honest ratings."