Univision is ratcheting up its criticism of Verizon for deciding to “withhold Univision news, information and services from their Hispanic subscribers” by dropping the network’s signal from its FiOS service in a carriage dispute.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Hispanic TV network said Verizon had dropped it “entirely without warning.”
Verizon responded in a statement contending that Univision had not come forward with an offer it considered reasonable.
Later, Verizon provided Deadline with a letter sent to Chairman Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission, dated Oct. 19. In the letter, Verizon claimed that “Univision has consistently insisted on unreasonable terms that would raise prices and harm our customers.” Verizon maintained it was willing to continue negotiations.
A statement this afternoon from Univision said the network has received support from members of Congress as well as the National Hispanic Media Coalition. It linked to a letter of support from the NHMC (read it here).
“Our population is suffering the effects of these catastrophes because many of us have families and loved ones in Mexico and Puerto Rico and don’t have news of their status or survival,” Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the coalition. “I advise that you put Univision back on the air while you work out your business arrangements. Anything else is detrimental to our community and Verizon risks being ostracized by Latino consumers that will not forget that at a time of crisis and need Verizon turned its back on us.”
In its initial statement about the standoff, Verizon said that in light of the disasters in Puerto Rico, “we worked with the owners of WAPA America and TV Dominicana to make these channels available to all our customers at no additional charge.” It added, in something of a tacit dig, that its customers also would still have access to networks including Telemundo, Univision’s archrival.
Univision is privately held. Verizon earlier today reported third-quarter earnings
, which were fairly flat. During a 30-minute conference call with Wall Street analysts, the dispute with Univision was not mentioned.