Univision has gone dark on three channels programmed for the DishLatino and Dish networks, a new escalation in the ongoing carriage dispute with the satellite and Internet provider.
Univision and UniMás (including local affiliates) and Galavisión were the three channels affected. Univision has also blocked Sling customers from accessing all of its channels on the service.
“Univision’s attempted price hikes target Hispanics despite the fact that fewer members of our community are watching Univision,” said Alfredo Rodríguez Diaz-Marta, Vice President of DishLATINO and Sling Latino.
The two sides have been locked in an increasing war of words over their carriage dispute, with each blaming the other for being too stubborn to see their points.
“We have served the Hispanic community for nearly 20 years, and as the leading provider of TV packages in English and Spanish, we owe it to our customers to deliver the best content at the best value,” said Rodríguez Diaz-Marta. “For example, in the spirit of our ‘sigamos haciéndola’ campaign, we will soon be the first to launch a new, commercial-free channel wholly dedicated to teaching English as a second language to learners of all levels. This channel will be available to DishLATINO and Sling Latino customers at no additional cost.”
The blackouts are not the first for Univision in its carriage disputes. In the last two years, the network has gone dark for AT&T, Charter and Verizon during negotiations.
Dish has offered to provide free antennas to qualified customers who wish to access the free over-the-air Univision as discussions continue. It also will make additional Spanish-language entertainment and news options available from DishLATINO at no extra cost.
These options include Multimedios (now available on channels 271, 272, 830 and 831), Mexicanal (now available on channels 273 and 833), and additional free movies on channel 828. Sling TV is providing customers who have the the Best of Spanish TV service or Best of Spanish TV Extra a free preview of the Mexico Regional Service.
After the Dish announcement, Univision fired back. “It is outrageous that Dish has rejected our offer of a two-week contract extension to allow its customers and our viewers to continue to have access to Univision’s highly rated networks and stations,” said the company statement.
Univision claimed Dish “has routinely used blackouts against broadcasters—its 68 broadcast blackouts since 2010 are significantly more than any other distributor in that time.”
The programmer claimed it is being offered “a fraction of what it pays our English-language peers. We stand ready to continue negotiations and enter into a short-term extension to restore service, especially with Dish customers missing our coverage of the Mexican presidential election, which many are calling “the biggest election in Mexican history.”