UPDATED: Responding to Univision’s earlier statement to subscribers, Dish has issued the following statement:
“We are actively working to reach a fair deal before the contract between Dish and Univision expires, knowing that only Univision can choose to take its content away from Dish and Sling customers.
Negotiations are standard in the pay-TV industry. Univision is demanding a rate increase of 75 percent for channels whose ratings have declined by nearly a third over the past five years. This from a company that lost its ability to offer the World Cup not just this year but in 2022 and 2026.
And remember, many Dish customers are able to receive Univision for free using over-the-air antennas.
We are unsure why Univision decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process at a point. There is still time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.”
PREVIOUSLY: Univision Communications Inc. is locked in a carriage dispute with Dish Network, and today began alerting the satellite service’s subscribers that they may soon lose access.
The UCI carriage dispute with Dish is not its first rodeo in this type of negotiations. The company previously engaged in carriage battles with Verizon FiOS and Charter Cable in recent years, actually going dark on FiOS in October 2017. This latest dispute appears headed down a similar path.
“Dish has left us no choice but to alert our viewers that they could face yet another Dish service interruption,” said the Univision statement in this latest conflict.
“For many years, Dish and UCI have had a successful partnership, which has helped establish Dish as a popular pay-TV provider for Hispanic America. In fact, Univision is the third most-watched network on DISH in any language, UDN is Dish ’s second most-watched sports channel in any language, UniMás is a top-15 network regardless of language on DISH, and, collectively, Univision’s networks represent 60% of the total Spanish-language viewership on DishLatino.”
The note went on to state that Univision’s offers in the dispute were rebuffed, “including one to extend our current agreement to avoid a disruption of service.”
The message then got cheeky: “While Dish ’s own lead negotiator recently compared programming disputes to “having a heart attack,” DISH still seems intent on entering what would be their 68th broadcast blackout since 2010 and causing yet another heart attack for their customers.”
Univision concluded by noting it remained hopeful “that we can reach a fair deal with Dish.”
Deadline has reached out to Dish for comment on the situation and will update with its response.