Hispanic TV Households Dip in Miami

Call it an adjustment, rather than a disappearance.

Nielsen’s Local Television Market Universe Estimates for the 2013-14 TV season were released in late September, and there’s certainly no surprise in the top U.S. Hispanic DMAs by rank. Los Angeles is by far the nation’s largest Hispanic market, with some 1.97 million Hispanic TV homes accounting for 13.4% of all such in the U.S. New York City is No. 2, with roughly 1.4 million Hispanic TV homes comprising 9.7% of the nation’s Hispanic TV viewership.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale DMA is third, representing 5% of U.S. Hispanic TV viewership. But there’s something that, on its face, appears odd about the total number of Hispanic TV homes -- 735,740. In the 2012-2013 TV season, the Miami DMA had 750,730 Hispanic TV homes.

Were 14,990 homes suddenly thrust into a different DMA? Was there a mass exodus of Hispanics outside of one of the nation’s densest populations of Spanish-preferred media consumers?

Industry sources provided an explanation to Hispanic Television Update.

“The declines you see are a result of July 2011 Census data being incorporated in 2014 Universe Estimates (UEs) for the first time,” an industry insider said. “Last year's estimates did not have the 2011 Census data because it was not available at that time. Increases in TV penetration partially offset the declines in the Census population, resulting in the decline.”

Thus, the dip may a ripple from Nielsen’s May 2011 integration of 2010 Census data, which saw 2012 preliminary household UEs fall to 114.7 million, from 115.9 million in 2011. The 2012 UEs also reflected a decline in the percentage of U.S. homes with a television set to 96.7%, from 98.9% in 2011.

Reaction from Miami television executives was muted. One industry veteran noted the drop in Hispanic households as odd. Miami Hispanic television stations contacted by HTU declined to offer a response. 

Even with the slide in Hispanic TV households, Miami outranks No. 4 Houston by some 84,440 Hispanic TV homes. According to Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the 2010 American Community Survey, Miami is the top DMA in terms of Hispanic share of the total population -- by a large margin -- over San Antonio, Texas, and Los Angeles.