Telemundo Is Poised to Beat Univision in Prime-Time Viewership for the First Time

Spanish-language TV race heats up

El Senor de Los Cielos is one of Telemundo's top series.

Telemundo is about to unseat Univision as the most-watched Spanish-language network in prime time for the first time ever for a full TV season.

For the 2016-17 season, which ends today, Telemundo will have the biggest share of the two younger demographics, 18- to 49-year-olds and 18- to 34-year-olds, during Monday-to-Friday viewing. While the win is a narrow one—Telemundo has a 2 percent lead in the 18-49 demo and a 6 percent lead among 18- to 34-year-olds—it is significant because Univision has dominated the Hispanic audience across all dayparts and demos for decades.

“We are proud our investments are paying off and that Telemundo has become the new standard in prime-time television,” said Cesar Conde, Chairman, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises in a statement. “This historic paradigm shift in Spanish-language TV signals there is a new norm as more and more Latinos choose Telemundo.”

While the NBCU-owned network has won the largest share of the younger audience, which is what matters most to advertisers, Univision will still win the season in households, averaging 1.26 million in prime time, according to Nielsen, compared with 1.1 million for Telemundo. Univision also wins other dayparts as well as news programming.

For its part, Telemundo credits its “ripped-from-the-headlines” approach and the fact that it has invested heavily in producing its own series, rather than acquiring shows from other countries.

Hispanics and Latinos make up about 52 million, or 17 percent, of the total U.S. population.