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Tue July 23, 2013

In The Summer, Univision Is Numero Uno

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 8:32 am

For three consecutive weeks this summer, Spanish-language TV network Univision won the prime-time ratings among young adult viewers. The network is bragging about its prime-time ratings domination with full-page ads in the LA Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Its English-language video exclaims: "For the first time ever, Univision is now the number one network in any language."

Univision has topped the ratings before in the summer, but never for this long. For an unprecedented three weeks, it scored with viewers aged 18 to 49. "These are the audiences that advertisers die for," says blogger Laura Martinez, who follows Spanish language media. She notes that Univision came in fourth, beating NBC in the crucial February sweeps period.

This time of year, Univision runs fresh new telenovelas while the other networks air old episodes from last season and cheap reality shows. "It's summer, they're running against reruns, against boring realities," says Martinez, "but I think it's pretty impressive and it's definitely history-making."

Over the past few weeks, Univision has aired important soccer tournaments (Copa Oro and CONCACAF). And its 10th annual "Premios Juventud," a sort of People's Choice award show, featured a much-tweeted-about performance by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull.

Mostly, though, viewers are tuning in to watch popular telenovelas imported from Mexico's Televisa network. The highlight of last week's Por Que El Amor Manda (Because Love Rules) was the showdown between two women rivaling for the love of the arrogant Rogelio. Meanwhile, the Mexican jet-set was at it again on the melodrama Amores Verdaderos (True Loves). And audiences tuned in to follow the convoluted love lives of mariachi musicians on Que Bonito Amor (What Beautiful Love).

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Univision has had some impressive numbers. For three consecutive weeks, the Spanish-language TV network won the prime-time ratings among young adult viewers.

As NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, it beat out the major English-language networks for that coveted demographic.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Univision is bragging about its prime-time ratings domination with full-page ads in the L.A. Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and in this English-language video...

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIVISION VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: For the first time ever, Univision is now the number one network in any language.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: The new number one.

BARCO: Univision has topped the ratings before in the summer, but never for this long. For an unprecedented three weeks, it scored with viewers aged 18 to 49.

LAURA MARTINEZ: These have the audiences that advertisers die for.

BARCO: Blogger Laura Martinez, who follows Spanish language media, notes that Univision came in fourth, beating NBC in the crucial February sweeps period.

This time of year, they run fresh new telenovelas and live sports, while the other networks air old episodes from last season and cheap reality shows.

MARTINEZ: It's the summer, they're running against reruns, against boring realities. But I still think it's pretty impressive and it's definitely history making.

BARCO: Over the past few weeks, Univision has aired important soccer tournaments, and its 10th annual "Premios Juventud," a sort of People's Choice award show, featured a much-tweeted-about performance by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull.

Mostly, viewers are tuning in to watch popular telenovelas imported from Mexico's Televisa network.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PORQUE EL AMOR MANDA")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMEN: (Sung in Foreign Language)

BARCO: The highlight of last week's "Porque El Amor Manda" was the showdown between two women rivaling for the love of the arrogant Rogelio. Meanwhile, the Mexican jet-set was at it again on the melodrama "Amores Verdaderos."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMORES VERDADEROS")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as character) (Foreign language spoken)

BARCO: And audiences tuned in to follow the convoluted love lives of mariachi musicians on "Que Bonito Amor."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "QUE BONITO AMOR")

(APPLAUSE)

BARCO: Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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