Univision Networks Ad Revenue Drop Narrows in Third Quarter

Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications, which earlier this year agreed to sell a majority stake to an investor group led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis, reported lower third-quarter financials amid the coronavirus pandemic, but advertising trends improved.

The company, which previously said it was targeting $125 million in cost reductions, posted third-quarter earnings of $30.9 million, compared with a year-ago profit of $77.4 million. Quarterly adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA), another profitability metric, fell 5 percent to $243.8 million.

Third-quarter revenue declined 8 percent to $627.6 million, with Univision’s media networks unit recording an 11 percent advertising decline to $287.6 million, compared with a 40 percent drop in the second quarter. Media networks core advertising revenue, which adjusts for political and advocacy ads, including the 2020 election, fell 18 percent to $260.4 million, another improvement over the second quarter when the drop had amounted to 42 percent.

“The decrease was due to declines in our networks and local television businesses primarily due to lower volume commitments due to COVID-19. million,” the company said. “The decrease in media networks core advertising revenue occurred primarily in the media and entertainment, automotive, telecommunications, retail, and restaurant categories.”

Political and advocacy revenue in the quarter reached $27.2 million, compared to $4.3 million in the prior-year period.

Media networks unit non-advertising revenue, including carriage fees and content licensing, dropped slightly to $292.2 million from $293.8 million as subscriber fees grew 3 percent, “primarily due to double-digit rate increases associated with the renewal of distributor contracts partially offset by subscriber losses.” Content licensing and other revenue fell due to timing issues.

Quarterly direct operating expenses related to programming, excluding variable program license fees, fell 13 percent to $122.5 million.

Said Univision CEO Vincent Sadusky: “Univision delivered solid operating and continuing financial improvement, as our strong ratings continued into the third quarter of 2020 and delivered year-over-year primetime audience growth among adults 18-49, while the major English-language broadcast networks and our closest Spanish-language competitor reported audience declines.”

He added: “Despite the ongoing uncertainties of COVID-19, advertising significantly improved from the second quarter, including record political advertising on our platforms.”

“COVID-19 has, and will continue, to impact the company, due to, among other things, the negative impact on advertising trends and its advertising revenue, the curtailment of sporting events and other programming production that the company has broadcast rights to, reductions or delays in the production of programming by the company’s partners, and general COVID-19 related disruptions to the company’s business and operations,” Univision said in its earnings update.

It also highlighted that it has “significant sources of cash and liquidity and access to its senior secured credit facilities,” while also acknowledging that “a prolonged period of generating lower cash from operations could adversely affect the company’s financial condition.”

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Matty Healy ‘Vibin’ With Joe Biden-Inspired Presidential Playlist

The 1975 leader Matty Healy has created a 25-song playlist to celebrate Joe Biden’s win in the American election, featuring songs by Natalie Cole, Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic, Lionel Richie and Van Morrison. Healy’s “Joe Biden has won and now we are vibin” list dropped on Sunday (Nov. 8)

Though Healy could not vote in the election, his party list captured the mood of many Americans who took to the streets to dance with joy over the weekend when former two-term Vice President Biden was officially announced the victor in his hard-fought battle against President Trump. Healy’s nearly two-hour list ranges from Prince’s “1999” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover” to Whitney Houston’s “Million Dollar Bill,” Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” George Benson’s “Feel Like Making Love” and Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.”

The reactions to Biden’s win over one-termer Trump ranged from a 740% uptick in sales for YG’s “FDT” to John Legend and Chrissy Teigen partying in the streets and Demi Lovato sharing a message of unity.

Listen to Healy’s playlist below.

Ashley Gorley Named Songwriter of the Year at 2020 ASCAP Country Music Awards

Ashley Gorley will be named ASCAP country music songwriter of the year at the 58th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards, which will be presented as a four-day social media event, running from Monday (Nov. 9) to Thursday.

This is the eighth time that Gorley has won songwriter of the year. His hits include “Catch,” “Good Vibes,” “I Don’t Know About You,” “Living,” “One Big Country Song,” “Remember You Young” and “Ridin’ Roads.”

Gorley will accept his award via video. Avenue Beat, which is signed to Gorley’s Tape Room Music, will appear in their own video tribute to the songwriter.

Old Dominion’s “One Man Band” receives ASCAP country music song of the year honors. The hit was co-written by band members Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi and top songwriter Josh Osborne.

The four songwriters will be presented with the honor in a surprise virtual visit from Paul Williams, ASCAP chairman of the board and president. The presentation will be featured on ASCAP social media later today, along with an exclusive performance of the song by the four winners.

Warner Chappell Music earns the ASCAP country music publisher of the year award for the eighth consecutive time for publishing such hits as “One Man Band,” “10,000 Hours,” “After a Few,” “Raised on Country” and “God’s Country.”

Ben Vaughn, president of Warner Chappell Music Nashville, will accept the award on video from his car in front of ASCAP Nashville headquarters. The video wraps up with a montage of “thank yous” from 16 Warner Chappell Music team members.

Williams will kick off the social media event with special remarks for the Nashville community on video: “This past year the world needed your music more than ever. And you delivered the goods…Your songs lifted our spirits, brought meaning to our lives and inspired us to keep going.”

Using the hashtag #ASCAPAwards, exclusive honoree photos, videos, acceptance speeches and even a few surprises will be posted @ASCAP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Digital content will be updated daily.

The 2020 ASCAP Country Music Awards will also feature two special performances on @ASCAP. Carly Pearce, a CMA Awards nominee for new artist of the year, will deliver an acoustic performance of her CMA-nominated hit “I Hope You’re Happy Now” and Matt Stell will share exclusive performance footage of “Prayed for You.”

A complete list of winners can be found on the ASCAP website: ascap.com/countryawards20.

Miley Cyrus Takes on Ariana Grande For U.K. No. 1

Ariana Grande is in a strong position to retain top spot on the U.K. singles chart, though Miley Cyrus could change all that.

Grande’s “Positions” holds at No. 1 while Miley’s “Midnight Sky” rises to No. 2 on the Official Chart: First Look, which tracks the most popular singles after the first 48 hours of sales and streams.

“Midnight Sky” is turbo-charged by a new cut which samples Stevie Nicks’ classic hit “Edge of Seventeen” and features new vocals from the Fleetwood Mac legend.

Based on the first weekend’s activity, just 1,000 chart sales separate the two.

Little Mix are targeting their tenth Top 5 single with “Sweet Melody,” which vaults 12-4 following the release of Confetti, the girl group’s sixth studio album.

The highest new entries on the chart blast belong to Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue, with “Say Something” new at No. 16 and “Magic” at No. 19. Both tracks appear on Kylie’s 15th and latest album Disco, which dropped last Friday (Nov. 6).

The Official U.K. Singles Chart is published late Friday, local time.