DISH and Univision enter dispute; Soccer-related channels go off-air

DISH satellite and Sling TV subscribers who are soccer fans will notice that several Univision channels are no longer available as of Saturday due to a carriage dispute between Univision and DISH, the parent company of Sling TV.

DishLATINO and DISH customers are unable to access three of its channels: Univision and UniMás (including local affiliates), and Galavisión. Sling customers are also prevented from accessing all of its channels on the service.

The dispute is a result of DISH not agreeing to a rate increase from Univision for each subscriber who gets the Spanish-language network(s) via the DISH satellite or Sling TV service. According to DISH, Univision is requesting rate increases of roughly 75 percent. Univision, in response, says that “DISH has chosen to devalue” Univision’s programming, “disingenuously offering a fraction of what it pays [Univision’s] English-language peers.”

In carriage disagreements such as this one, which are pretty frequent within the industry, it’s not uncommon for TV providers and network to air their grievances.

“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,” read a statement from Univision. “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.'”

In response, DISH included a dig at Univision for losing the rights to the 2018, 2022 and 2026 World Cup to Telemundo. “Downward ratings trends are expected to continue,” said the DISH statement. “Univision failed to secure rights for the current World Cup, as well as the World Cup in 2022 and 2026, losing out to one of its competitors in domestic Hispanic programming.”

According to Nielsen, Univision is the number three most-watched network on DISH while Univision Deportes is the number two sports network on DISH. Univision Deportes is the home of Liga MX in the United States. Plus later this summer, Univision Deportes will kick off its recent mega-deal with UEFA, bringing coverage of both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League to UDN and their broadcast networks. UEFA represents the most prolific stage on the global club soccer calendar.

Univision also has the Spanish-language rights to select games from the Bundesliga, MLS and Gold Cup as well as games featuring the Mexican and US national teams.

In total, Univision broadcasts more than 1,100 live matches annually.

Soccer fans concerned about losing the Univision channels should call 1-800-500-4252 to voice their opinion and ask that the Univision channels be returned.

 

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