For those who pay attention to the broadcaster space, few stories have been more interesting recently than the DISH Network spat with the Spanish-language programmer Univision. For long-time DISH Network customers, this could be a very big deal given that Univision usually has more than 60 stations running on DISH Network’s services. So, what exactly is happening?
Well, it all started with some confusion over a contract extension. Univision’s contract with DISH is set to expire, which is why the company filed a request for a two-week extension with DISH while they worked out the finer points of the contract extension. DISH rejected that extension, and both companies have a lot to say about that.
Univision, claims that it is the third most watched network in any language, and that they should be compensated as such. “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 a Univision statement. “While Dish has routinely used blackouts against broadcasters – its 68 broadcast blackouts since 2010 are significantly more than any other distributor in that time – Univision expected Dish to take our negotiations and its commitment to Hispanic consumers seriously when it told its customers this week that it wanted to ‘reach a mutually beneficial deal’ for Univision’s ‘high quality content.’.
The statement continues on saying that “Instead of fulfilling its promise to its customers, Dish has chosen to devalue our programming, disingenuously offering 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.’ Dish should do right by its Spanish-speaking audiences, agree to restore service, and negotiate a good faith agreement.”.
DISH refuted Univision’s story with a statement of their own, saying that “Univision continues to demand rate increases of roughly 75 percent despite ratings declines of approximately 30 percent,” Dish said in a statement today. “The ball remains in Univision’s court. Univision walked away from the negotiation table June 29 and has not countered DISH’s latest proposal. Univision blocked DISH, DishLATINO and Sling TV customers June 30.”.
Both sides seem firmly entrenched in their beliefs, but a some type of agreement will likely be reached soon. There is simply too much money in play for this issue to end in a stalemate. Unfortunately, for DISH Network customers that love Univision’s channels, all they can do now is sit tight.
Univision networks gone from Dish Network lineup