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Originally published Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 5:26 PM

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Editorial: Univision’s window on America

As immigration battles rage on Capitol Hill, the Spanish-language network Univision channels a growing demographic in America.

Seattle Times Editorial

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

Last week the Nielsen company, which tracks television audiences, 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 were not the usual summer reruns on 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.

Univision’s triumphal full-page ad in The New York Times that “Numero Uno is the New Number One,” is a bit of corporate hype, but the power of a diverse demographic has found a very traditional expression.

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 Univsion 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.

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