Univision: We're Off Verizon Platforms

Spanish-language network Univision says its signals are off Verizon MVPD and mobile streaming platforms despite its offer of an extension while they tried to hammer out a new carriage deal.

"At 5 p.m. EST on Oct. 16, 2017, entirely without warning, Verizon pulled Univision’s signal from both its FiOS and mobile platforms [some El Rey content is available on streaming service go90], leaving consumers without access to the news, information and entertainment they rely on," said Univision in a statement.

"Verizon chose to take this unprecedented action despite Univision’s offer of an extension of the current agreement. In light of recent natural disasters and current events impacting the Hispanic community, we are surprised and deeply concerned that Verizon would remove us from its systems - and without warning to its customers."

Univision said Verizon should restore the signals and return to the negotiating table to "prove its commitment to the Hispanic community and show that it understands the value of Spanish-language programming."

"Our goal as always is to provide our customers the best possible TV experience while keeping prices as low as possible," said Verizon in a statement. "Unfortunately Univision is proposing an increase of more than double what they charge for access to their channels today. In addition to the unfortunate timing of this excessive price increase, we believe the appeal for Univision’s programming is waning given their reported declining viewership.  We’ve provided Univision a reasonable offer to continue providing our customers access to their channels. Unfortunately they rejected that offer and as a result we no longer have rights to bring them those channels. This is the same tactic Univision has used with multiple cable providers this year and last year.

"Verizon is committed to providing a wide variety of great Spanish-language entertainment options to our customers. Given the recent natural disasters in Puerto Rico, we worked with the owners of WAPA America and TV Dominicana to make these channels available to all our customers at no additional charge. This is in addition to an already strong line-up that includes channels like Telemundo, Discovery en Espanol, Telemicro Internacional and TVE Internacional."

The impasse was a topic of conversation Monday night (Oct. 16) on Verizon's FiOS Community forum.

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.