3rd UPDATE, 8:10 PM: Two hours before Univision were set to dark on AT&T’s U-Verse again, the two sides have extended their peace treaty for a few more days. Here’s a statement released tonight by Univision: “Univision Communications Inc. and AT&T agreed today to extend the access of the Univision network and stations until 1 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 16 2016. Univision’s other networks will continue to be unavailable. The two companies will continue to work to reach agreement on a new contract.”
2nd UPDATE, March 10: AT&T and Univision Communications agreed to extend access of the Spanish-language network on U-Verse through tonight’s GOP debate and until early Saturday morning. Here’s the statement from Univision: “Univision Communications Inc. and AT&T agreed today to extend the access of the Univision network and stations brought back for Wednesday night’s debate until 1 a.m. ET Saturday. Univision’s other networks will continue to be unavailable. The two companies will continue to work to reach agreement on a new contract.”
UPDATE with more information: AT&T and Univision Communications’ efforts to make each other look like the culprit in a blackout of the Spanish-language broadcaster on U-verse led to some confusion over whether it will remain available for 24 hours after tonight’s Democratic presidential debate.
Univision and services it owns including UniMás, Galavisión and Univision Deportes NetworkCharge went dark on U-verse on Friday as they reached an impasse over the retransmission deal that expired. They agreed to a temporary truce for tonight’s Democratic presidential debate, being sponsored by Univision and The Washington Post.
This afternoon the broadcaster asked AT&T to keep the signal up for U-verse’s 5.6 million subscribers for 24 hours after the debate.
“Univision is hopeful that AT&T will show good faith in the parties’ ongoing negotiations by treating Univision’s top-rated Hispanic content on par with its English-language broadcasting counterparts in order for the companies to continue to collaborate in serving the growing U.S. Hispanic community,” the company says.
AT&T’s view is that it’s up to Univision to decide if it wants to stay on U-Verse — although the telco views this as being insufficient.
“Of course, we’re glad to see Univision has agreed to part of our request by unblocking some of its content for another 24 hours beyond tonight’s debate,” it says. “Unfortunately, they have not unblocked all of their content as we requested. On behalf of all of our customers, we again request continuous access to not only the Univision stations, but all their networks, while a fair agreement is ironed out.”
It’s common in retransmission disputes for networks and distributors to blame each other when customers lose programming.