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Volume 21 No. 2
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Soccer on TV: Why Univision wins

The U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier drew 4.5M viewers across Univision and Univision Deportes.

It’s no longer a surprise to see Univision draw more viewers than some English-language networks that carry the same soccer match. It happened again last week for the U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier, which averaged 4.5 million viewers on Univision and Univision Deportes, and 2.1 million viewers on Fox Sports 1. And that was the biggest World Cup qualifier audience in FS1’s four-year history.

I called Univision’s executive vice president of corporate research, Jed Meyer, to put those numbers into context.

“We expected it to do well,” Meyer said. “It met our expectations.”

Meyer was most energized by three parts:

Univision/UDN’s median age for the game was young.

The median age for Univision/UDN’s telecast of the U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier was 39. That’s the youngest median age for any televised sporting event last week, Meyer said. By comparison, FS1’s median age was 41 and the NBA Finals’ median age was 43.

Women watched the match.

Women made up 45 percent of the Univision/UDN audience. Last year, Univision/UDN’s audience for U.S. men’s team games was 38 percent female. Meyer credited the increase to the decision to simulcast the qualifier on Univision and the family-friendly start time of 8:30 p.m.

Digital numbers continue to increase.

Meyer was particularly happy with digital numbers that showed passionate viewers who were engaged with the match. Univision logged 639,000 video views and 750,000 social media interactions during the match.