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Univision Says Dish Refused an Extension Before Blackout

Univision says that it offered Dish Network a short-term extension before its distribution agreement expired on Saturday, but that Dish turned it down, leading to a blackout of Univision’s stations and some of its networks.

“This blackout was unnecessary, and Dish’ refusal to consider a short-term extension is unacceptable,” said, Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Univision’s executive VP, government and corporate affairs. “We offered an extension to ensure negotiations did not interfere with our service of the Hispanic communities that rely on critical news from Univision. Dish apparently did not share our concern and chose not to put its Hispanic customers first.”

Dish has said that Univision was looking for large rate increase, a request that came as Univision’s rating were tumbling.

Univision maintains that its networks still attract large audiences among Dish’s Spanish-language speaking subscribers.

“Univision’s networks and stations play an outsized role in Dish success with Hispanic consumers, and our programming is some of the most popular, regardless of language, among DISH subscribers,” said Herrera-Flanigan, “Despite the success of our programming with its customers, Dish insists on paying Univision only a fraction of what it pays our English-language peers, including some with far fewer viewers. They even dismissed Univision’s most recent proposal, which still asks for considerably less than our English-language peers are paid.”

Jon Lafayette
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.