Dish Network has apparently added sports channel Univision Deportes to its list of blacked out Spanish language networks, after failing to reach a carriage deal with the programmer.
This is the second block of Univision networks to go dark on the satellite TV service. In June, Univision’s broadcast channels, and its cable networks Galavison and UniMas went dark to Dish customers. Univision warned customers last month that Deportes could also get the axe from the satellite giant if a deal couldn’t be reached. Also going dark to Dish customers are Univision's FOROtv, TLNovelas and El Rey channels.
Dish has argued that the Univision networks are not broadly watched by its customers and that those who do can access the channels either through over-the-air antennas or directly from the programmer via its online apps.
Dish lost about 367,000 satellite TV customers in the third quarter, losses that were almost all attributed to the Univision blackout.
In a statement Univision said the failure by Dish to reach a deal for Deportes could mean even more subscribers leave the Dish fold. As a result of the latest dispute, Dish customers will lose access to more than 1,100 top soccer matches and major tournaments each year.
“Dish has now gutted its Spanish-language offering, which until recently was a core part of its business,” Univision said in a statement, adding that it has made “every reasonable effort” to reach an agreement.
“Given that Dish experienced its worst-ever quarterly subscriber losses after dropping the bulk of Univision’s networks and stations, its unwillingness to recognize the power of Hispanic consumers and the popularity of Univision’s leading news, sports and entertainment programming is bizarre and disappointing,” Univision continued. “Moving forward, we will continue to use the full power of the Univision portfolio to encourage our audience to find a TV provider that is dedicated to serving Hispanic America.”
In a statement Dish said it offered to extend its agreement with Deportes while negotiations continued, but Univision refused.
“Instead, Univision has blocked Deportes, FOROtv, TLNovelas and El Rey from DishLatino customers,” Dish said in its statement. “The Univision story remains the same: its content, on the whole, continues to decline in viewership, and as a result, the economics of their proposals do not make sense. Meanwhile, Univision continues to sell its direct-to-consumer product, Univision NOW, at a lower price than Univision proposes charging Dish customers. We don’t think that’s right.”
Dish added that it is making up for the lost Univision channels by giving DishLatino customers a $5 monthly credit, replacement content and in markets where Univision is available over the air, free antennas.