Hispanic Groups Ask Texas AG to Vet Dish Marketing

A trio of Hispanic business groups has asked the Texas attorney general to look into Dish's marketing and consumer practices.

The letter, which was sent this week, came from the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Hispanic Construction Association.

The request was tied to the retranmission consent impasse that has resulted in Dish not carrying Univision, UniMas and Galavision since the end of June. 

Related: Univision: Dish Is Dug In

"Univision’s channels reportedly constituted about 60% of Dish’s Spanish-language programming," they told Texas AG Ken Paxton. "While Dish continues to market to Hispanic consumers the availability of Univision’s programs, Dish’s Chairman recently said publicly, that Dish may never bring Univision’s channels back. It is troubling that Dish continues to market programming to consumers and lock them into contracts when it has already pulled Univision from its channel lineup and says it may never bring them back. In doing so, Dish is hurting Spanish-speaking consumers."

Dish said it remained committed to the Latino community and that the impasse was a case of not wanting its customers to pay "outrageous" prices for the Univision programming. 

“Like the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Hispanic Construction Association, we are dedicated to serving the Latino community, and we appreciate the support they deliver. The situation with Univision is a business dispute, plain and simple," said a Dish spokesperson. "Univision executives are seeking a massive rate increase despite reports showing the programmer lost more than 50 percent of its primetime viewership in the last seven years. We refuse to allow our customers to pay outrageous increases, especially for content that is available for free over the air, as well as available online for substantially less than Univision is trying to charge Dish customers. To support our DishLATINO customers, Dish is offering a $5 per month credit, replacement channels with Spanish-language news and entertainment, and over-the-air antennas in markets served by Univision local broadcasts. We remain committed to serving the Hispanic community in the U.S. with great content at a great value.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.