Univision Communications continues to ramp up its in-house consulting group, which looks to advise advertisers on how to take advantage of the growing Hispanic market — and in the process, invest in Univision properties.

On a conference call Thursday, the company said it has recently hired more executives with a variety of marketing backgrounds; the total staff at the “client development group” stands at 50-plus employees. The group, which has specific teams for different industries, looks in part to provide custom research to marketers without the resources to undertake it. It has helped bring Microsoft, Samsung and Starbucks into the Univision fold over the past few years.

Univision plans to invest up to $40 million this year in building its sales and marketing efforts and develop three upcoming cable channels. Among those, an all-telenovela channel is scheduled to debut over the next few months, a sports network early next year and all-news channel by election day 2012.

Univision recently told The New York Times its upfront haul this summer set a record, with up to $1.8 billion in commitments for its flagship network TeleFutura and cable outlet Galavision.

For the recent second quarter, Univision’s TV operations — which include its networks and owned local stations — posted a net revenue drop of 1.6%, not counting political dollars or those from major soccer tournaments. EBITDA was up close to 10% on that metric. (Network revenues were up low single-digits and the stations were down by a high single-digit amount.)

Radio revenue was down less than 1%, and EBITDA was down.

Univision content provider Televisa recently signed a deal for Netflix to distribute its content in Latin America. Univision CEO Randy Falco said the company is talking with Netflix and others about deals in the U.S.

SOURCE MediaPost

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