Road to the Upfront: Univision

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Upfront host: Ray Rodriguez, president-COO Univision Communications and Alina Falcon, exec VP-operating manager, Univision Network

Other side of the table: Tom McGarrity and Dennis McCauley, co-presidents, network sales

Performance in 18-49 Hispanic households: 2 million*

Performance in total Hispanic viewers: 3.6 million*

Best returning shows: Univision's flagship show, "Sabado Gigante," "Don Francisco Presenta," "Cristina" and "Aqui y Ahora."

Best new shows: Novelas "Amor Real" and "Rubi" were particular stand-outs this year while reality show "Lo Veremos Todo Con Niurka y Bobby" also did well.

Weakest areas: Few complaints are to be found with the programming. Pricing is another matter, buyers say. Univision is charges handsomely. Others say that dominant Univision can be a little arrogant.

Most successful product placement/sponsorship: Univision announced a three-year, $100 million cross-platform deal with Miller Brewing this season, one of the biggest ad deals in the network's history. Others say, however, that Univision has lagged rival Telemundo in the area of more tailor-made product-placement friendly programming. "Sabado Gigante," the network's Saturday night variety show, is perhaps the most sponsorship/product-integration friendly show. It is backed by the likes of Kraft and Americatel.

Audience median age: 31.2, down from 34.5 last year, the youngest broadcast network in prime time.

Last year's CPM increase: High single digits

Last year's upfront haul: An estimated $850 million

Buyer's verdict: Nancy Tellet, VP-director of media services and strategic planning with Siboney USA, New York, said Univision has had a good season, taking more viewers from general-market stations than taking share from rival Spanish-language services. Danielle Gonzales, VP-media director at Tapestry, part of SMG, Chicago said: "They have been incredibly successful in the last three months with `Amor Real.' They've done really well with a couple of novelas." Ms. Gonzales said Univision has taken share from its rival Telemundo to increase its audience on last year.

*Nielsen Media Research: Season-to-date is Sept.20 to April 17, 2005

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