America’s consumer choices, voting trends and viewing habits help fill in the mosaic of this big economically, politically and socially diverse country.

The Nielsen company, which tracks television audiences, recently announced the Spanish-language Univision network was tops with viewers aged 18-45 for the month of July.

Univision passed NBC in February, but that was dismissed as a one-time win over a struggling network. To beat Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC and others in Nielsen’s July time frame speaks to Univision’s appeal and the size of the demographic it drew upon.

Univision offered the same types of music, sports and programs to attract young viewers and not the usual summer reruns offered by the other networks.

Nielsen reports the median age for Univision viewers is 37. Over at CBS, NBC and ABC the median age is into the mid-50s.

Dr. Luis Fraga, University of Washington associate vice provost and political science professor, says Univision has built its viewing audience with news coverage and programming content and story lines that put U.S. current events in a useful context for Latino viewers.

One Univision effort, titled “This is the Moment,” promoted education, college preparation and enrollment for families and a growing segment of a growing demographic. The White House recruited Univision to promote the new health-care plan.

Eyes on TV screens reflect who we are and what we watch, and advertisers and pollsters pay attention.

Political strength is found in numbers. How those numbers reveal themselves beyond Election Day can be as routine as noticing who watches which network.

— The Seattle Times, July 30

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