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.
AT&T U-verse customers across the country, including right here in Austin, will be able to watch tonight’s Democratic debate on Univision after all.
Univision-owned stations went dark last week on U-verse, the result of a contract dispute over retransmission fees – money cable and satellite providers must pay in order to carry networks. But the two sides have agreed to temporarily set aside their differences so audiences can watch Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders square off tonight.
The debate, which will air live from Miami, starts at 8 p.m. on KAKW Channel 62.
Univision this afternoon called on AT&T to continue airing the network’s programming for 24 hours following the debate. Dallas-based AT&T didn’t immediately respond to Univision’s request.
Univision-owned TV stations statewide, including Austin’s KAKW Channel 62, will get a new two-hour morning newscast starting next month.
The show, “Noticias Texas Primera Edición” (“Texas News First Edition”), will air from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays beginning April 6.
While KAKW has offered brief news updates during the morning hours, the new broadcast marks the first time it will have a full-fledged morning newscast. And with a 4 a.m. start time, it will be the first local newscast on the air in Austin each morning. KEYE, KTBC, KVUE and KXAN all start their morning news at 4:30 a.m.
“Noticias Texas Primera Edición” will originate from Houston, but will also feature reporters based in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio.
Anchors will be Karina Yapor and Rodolfo Sanchez. Yapor and Sanchez both currently work at the Univision station in Dallas.
The newscast’s Austin-based reporters will be Liliana Soto and David Herrera, who are both already part of the Univision 62 news team.
The Univision network’s “Despierta América” (“Wake Up, America”) will air at 6 a.m., immediately following the new statewide newscast.
“We are committed to bringing our audiences the best news, entertainment and information,” said Univision Local Media president Kevin Cuddihy. “The launch of ‘Noticias Texas Primera Edición’ allows us to deliver in that regard. Our audiences in this region will be connected to the best content from across the state of Texas, delivered by the familiar faces that they’ve come to trust.”