With news and commentary programming flanking its event coverage, Fox Deportes finished 2012 as the leading Spanish-language sports cable network in the U.S. from a Nielsen perspective.
The service led the way among total viewers and person 18 to across total-day, primetime and weekday measurements, according to Nielsen data.
Network officials pointed to a full 52-week slate of UFC and Golden Boy Boxing live and classic events, with ancillary programming, as reasons for the performance. Moreover, Fox Deportes benefited from the presentation of the most college football action in the sector’s history, highlighed by top schools from the Big 12 and Pac-12.
On the original programming front, Central Fox and La Última Palabra, both of which launched last February, helped drive Fox Deportes. Central Fox was the No. 1 sports news program for the last two quarters of 2012 among Spanish sports cable networks, growing the network’s news viewership by +57% in the fourth quarter among total viewers to 47,000 from 30,000 from the prior-year period and 83% against persons 18 to 49 (33,000 vs. 18,000). La Última Palabra lifted Deportes’ soccer talk viewership by 32% in the fourth quarter to 49,000 from 37,000 and 75% in the aforementioned demo (35,000 vs. 20,000) versus 2011.
“Last year marked a breakthrough year for Fox Deportes as we delivered the most expansive and diverse portfolio of major sports events in Spanish TV history,” said Vincent Cordero, executive vice president and general manager, Fox Deportes, in a statement. “Our goal was to provide U.S. Latinos the best and most compelling sports events, with unparalleled news and commentary, which together made us their No. 1 sports destination.”
Fox Deportes is looking to expand on its 2012 success by revving up NASCAR event coverage for the first time. Starting in February, the network will present the most races ever in Spanish TV history, including at least seven live races beginning with the Sprint Unlimited from Daytona and Daytona 500.