Q. Will Dish ever put Univision back on the air? I really miss it and want it back now! Is there anything I can do? — Jose, Miami.
Jose, I have to tell you that it doesn’t look good for a solution to this programming dispute, at least in the near future.
As you know, Univision, the nation’s leading Spanish-speaking channel, which also
owns UniMas and Galavision, pulled all three channels from Dish’s lineup on June 30 when the companies could not agree on a new carriage pact.
As is usual in these cases, Dish and Univision are fighting over how much the former should pay the latter in programming fees. The blackout also affects Sling TV, Dish’s live streaming service.
Asked last week by financial analysts if a deal with Univision was imminent, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen sounded quite pessimistic.
“I believe this (blackout)…is probably permanent,” Ergen said.
Dish has claimed Univision is asking for carriage fees that exceed the industry norm, a charge hotly disputed by the programmer.
Similar claims have been made in previous fee fights shortly before companies reached settlements so the situation is not hopeless. But I suspect this fight will be lengthy rather than short due to Dish’s history of being a tough negotiator in these type of battles.
So, Jose, what can you do to help bring about a solution?
Nothing really. If you want to keep watching Univision, you could switch to a TV service that offers it, such as DIRECTV or Comcast, the cable operator in your area. Also, in some markets, such as Miami, you can watch Univision for free with an ‘over-the-air’ antenna.
But if you’re waiting for your favorite channel to return to Dish, it may be awhile.
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