Univision stations have gone dark for Dish Network subscribers in Austin and a number of other cities.
The satellite provider removed the channels over the weekend, even though Univision says it had offered a two-week extension while contract talks continued.
Dish subscribers no longer have access to Univision, UniMás and Galavision, while folks who subscribe to Dish’s Sling streaming service have lost Univision, UniMás, Galavision, Univision Deportes Network and El Rey.
“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,” Univision said in a written 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.’
“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.”
Univision says it is the No. 3 most-watched network that Dish carries, regardless of language, and that its various networks combined account for 60 percent of Spanish-language viewership on the Dish Latino package.
Media General, the company that operates three Austin TV stations, says it has reached a new agreement with DirecTV that means NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO will remain a part of its channel lineup.
Dish Network, meanwhile, has yet to strike a new deal with Tegna, owner of Austin ABC affiliate KVUE.
An existing agreement that expired Sept. 30 was initially extended 24 hours, but the two sides said Thursday that they would up that to an eight-day extension because Hurricane Joaquin is approaching the East Coast, where Tegna owns several TV stations.
Cable and satellite TV providers are required by federal law to compensate broadcasters for carrying their signals. Those fees have been the sticking point in both the DirecTV and Dish Network negotiations, based upon public statements made by those involved.
The deadline for them to work things out is 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The sticking point in both the DirecTV and Dish Network negotiations is money, based upon public statements made by those involved. Cable and satellite TV providers are required by federal law to compensate broadcasters for carrying their signals.
Dozens of local TV stations nationwide, including Austin’s KEYE, have been dropped from the Dish Network lineup.
The stations are operated by Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group.
The move leaves a number of Central Texans without access to programming from CBS and Telemundo, which KEYE carries on a digital subchannel.
Cable and satellite TV providers must get permission to carry local stations via a retransmission agreement. Typically, the agreements require companies such as Dish to pay stations a monthly per-subscriber fee.