Dish Latino Package Subs Get $5 Credit While Univision Dark

Dish, in a fee dispute that has made Univision’s networks unavailable to DishLatino and Sling Latino subscribers, said it will offer subscribers a $5 per month credit, beginning Aug. 1.

Dish is also offering Latino package customers a free-over-the-air antenna.

Univision networks have been off Dish since June 30.

“While we’ve been available, responsive and have made a best effort to negotiate, Univision appears to be forcing an impasse,” said Erik Carlson, Dish president and CEO. “We strongly believe that, in light of Univision’s departure from the negotiation table and from the Dish lineup, it’s the right thing to offer a credit to our DishLatino and Sling Latino customers.”

Related: Univision Says Dish Refused an Extension Before Blackout

“With this announced refund, Dish recognizes what its Hispanic customers already know to be true: without Univision networks and local stations, there is no ‘DishLatino” and certainly no “Best of Spanish” on Sling TV," a Univision spokesman said.

"Given that our networks account for 60% of Spanish-language viewing on DishLatino, their $5 refund is yet another example of Dish drastically undervaluing Univision and Spanish-language programming, as well as disregarding why Latino viewers have paid Dish for its services. As such, we remind our valued viewers who subscribe to Dish services that our services are available on many other platforms. We recommend that they choose the brands that support the Hispanic community," the Univision spokesman said.

In many markets, Univision is available free over the air with an antenna, Carlson noted. It is also offering its content online via Univision Now for $7.99 a month.

Carlson said that’s a lower price than Univision wants to charge Dish.

“Based on Univision’s latest proposed rate increase, DishLatino and Sling Latino customers would get a better deal if they use a free over-the-air antenna or subscribe to the Univision Now service,” said Carlson.

Dish says that Univision is seeking a massive fee increase for its programming. It said it is being "available" and "responsive" and blamed the programmer for forcing an impasse.

Univision it is being flexible in trying to strike a deal with Dish.

"We returned to their corporate offices last week at which time we offered several paths forward to show Dish how serious we are about resolving this dispute amicably," a Univision spokesmand said. "And despite Univision’s good-faith and meaningful offer, Dish responded with an offer that was essentially the same as the one they previously offered back in June. We remain open and willing to negotiate with Dish at any time and ready to return to their offices this week should they choose to be constructive to the process."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.