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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/14/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Spanish-language broadcasts of sporting event wipes out competition

Whatever side of the fence you're on with the World Cup - along with the worldwide televised phenomenon it's quickly become, it's clear that the only real winner will be Univision. It's a gamble that paid off. Taking half-a-million dollars, the Spanish language cable channel found out how to beam its soccer broadcasts into America's homes than its competitors. Univision's broadcasts trounced both ESPN's and ABC's, if only by a matter of seconds.

Legions of soccer fans used Univision's free streaming to covertly watch games on their office computers or cellphones.

Legions of soccer fans used Univision's free streaming to covertly watch games on their office computers or cellphones.

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/14/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Univision, World Cup, HIspanic population, U.S.


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Carlos Rodriguez, the president of the sports division of Univision Communications, it was reason enough to lure away viewers from their competitors. "Who doesn't want to yell 'Goal!' five or six seconds before their neighbors?" Rodriguez said in an interview from Brazil.

With the finals yet to come this weekend, featuring a Latin American team for the first time in 12 years - Univision has already drawn roughly 80 million viewers, or about 60 percent more than it logged for the 2010 tournament.

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This fact draws attention the fact over the sharp growth of America's Hispanic population over the last two decades. The World Cup has shown how it is reshaping the modern American media landscape.

Other factors have also worked to the network's advantage. Legions of soccer fans used Univision's free streaming to covertly watch games on their office computers or cellphones. A handful of Latin American teams, including Mexico and Costa Rica, performed surprisingly well in the tournament.

Some non-Hispanic viewers simply prefer the network's excitable commentators.

The unprecedented exposure Univision has received from the World Cup could not have come at a better time for Univision. Univision is owned by a group of investors led by the media mogul Haim Saban, who is perhaps best known for importing the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" to America from Japan.

During a private equity boom in 2007, Saban's group acquired Univision for $13.7 billion in a bidding war.

Saban and his partners are now exploring the possibility of a deal in the midst of big media industry mergers. In recent months, they have spoken to at least two large companies, Time Warner and CBS, about selling Univision for roughly $20 billion. They are also considering an initial public offering of stock.

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