NEW YORK - For the first time, the Spanish-language Univision network will have a larger audience than its English counterparts for a full month in the youthful demographic that television advertisers are most eager to reach.
Univision's average of 1.81 million viewers aged 18-to-49 so far in July tops Fox, NBC and CBS, who are all clustered just under 1.5 million, the Nielsen company said on Tuesday. ABC has 1.15 million. Nielsen's calendar is different than the real one; its July ratings period ends Wednesday.
Univision has been quick to tout the accomplishment, buying a full-page advertisement in The New York Times on Monday saying that "Numero Uno is the new Number One."
"It's a milestone for Univision and for Hispanic media in general," said Cesar Conde, president of Univision Networks. "More importantly, it speaks to the growing influence of the Hispanic community here in the United States. It's a great day for our team."
Univision outrated NBC in the young demographic in February, but that was depicted more as a sign of NBC's weakness than Univision's strength. This month, Univision has continued to air all original programming while more reruns dot the schedules of English broadcasters.
The youth awards show, "Premios Juventud," had a duet between Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull at its opening and reached nearly 5 million viewers. Univision also benefited from some popular soccer matches and its 9 p.m. EDT telenovela, "Amores Verdaderos."
While the industry looks at the inroads that cable networks are making against English-language broadcasters, Univision has gradually improved its standing, said Brad Adgate, an analyst for Horizon Media.
"It wouldn't surprise me in a few years if Univision isn't the top 18-to-49-year-old network during a season," Adgate said.
The demographic plays to Univision's strength. The median age of the network's viewer is 37 while CBS, NBC and ABC's median ages are clustered in the mid-50s. Figuring in viewers of all ages in July, CBS leads with a 5.3 million average in prime-time and Univision is fourth with 3.6 million viewers, Nielsen said.
Among all viewers in prime-time last week, CBS led with an average of 5.5 million viewers. NBC had 4.6 million, Fox had 4.3 million, Univision had 3.71 million, ABC had 3.67 million, Telemundo had 1.43 million, ION Television had 1.38 million and the CW had 1.1 million.
The Disney Channel had bragging rights with the success of its "Teen Beach Movie." The 8.4 million viewers who watched the movie's debut on Friday made it the top-rated television movie of the year. Among kids aged 2 to 14, it was the second most-watched TV event of the year behind the Super Bowl.