×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Univision Blasts ‘Discriminatory Behavior’ as Stations Go Dark on AT&T’s U-verse

Univision-owned stations went dark on AT&T’s U-verse platform early Friday, prompting the Spanish-language broadcaster to blast the telecom giant for “discriminatory behavior” and audience “redlining” in retransmission consent negotiations.

Univision asserted that AT&T would not agree to retrans terms for Univision’s stations that are commensurate with fees paid to the English-language stations. AT&T disputed that characterization, accusing Univision of seeking “an outrageous price increase.” AT&T also said it hoped to resolve the blackout soon.

Univision owns 60 stations serving 19 markets, including Puerto Rico, that are affiliated with the mothership network and its UniMas broadcast sibling. The U-verse dispute affects Univision-owned stations in 29 cities, as well as Univision’s national feeds for its networks in 43 other cities, plus the feeds for seven channels offering a mix of vintage movies, telenovelas and music. The signals and feeds went dark as of midnight ET on Thursday.

“Despite Univision’s tireless efforts to reach an agreement, AT&T is denying its U-verse customers access to our networks and stations, which have the most popular Spanish-language news, sports and entertainment. AT&T is redlining our audience by refusing to recognize the value of the Univision networks and the consumers we serve,” Univision said in a statement.

“AT&T’s discriminatory behavior is preventing Hispanic America from receiving content and information in language and in culture, which is especially vital during this election year. These disputes can be confusing for consumers, but in our case it’s simple: we must receive fair compensation, on par with English language broadcasters,” Univision said.

U-verse serves about 5.9 million subscribers. The telco platform launched video service in 2006, but U-verse is now taking a backseat within AT&T to the larger DirecTV, which AT&T acquired for $49 billion last year. There was speculation that AT&T might shift U-verse customers who complained about the loss of Univision to DirecTV — something that would suit AT&T larger goals.

“Univision has blocked our U-verse customers from receiving most of their channels. This is about nothing more than Univision demanding we pay an outrageous price increase,” AT&T said in a statement. “We are fighting for all of our customers to keep what Univision charges at a reasonable amount. Numerous and diverse programming deals we have signed recently prove this can be accomplished. We hope to resolve this matter quickly and appreciate our customers’ patience.”

AT&T also responded to Univision’s charge that ethnic discrimination is playing a role in the dispute.

“Spanish-language channels are important to us and our customers. That’s why we carry 78 Spanish-language channels,” AT&T said.

More TV

  • Amy Schumer'I Feel Pretty' film premiere,

    Amy Schumer Documentary 'Expecting Amy' Ordered at HBO Max

    Amy Schumer’s journey through her pregnancy is coming to HBO Max. The streamer, set to launch in the spring of 2020, has ordered the documentary “Expecting Amy” (working title), which will provide a “unfiltered,” “behind-the-scenes” look at Schumer as she goes through a difficult pregnancy while touring and preparing for a stand-up special. ”Women are [...]

  • Bluff City Law

    'Bluff City Law' Will Not Receive Full Season Order at NBC

    “Bluff City Law” will wrap up its first season after the NBC drama airs its initial 10 episodes. While not an official cancellation, the move clearly does not bode well for the freshman series getting a second season. The show has aired four episodes to date, with the fifth set to air this coming Monday. [...]

  • Disney-Family-Movies

    Disney Family Movies SVOD Service Is Shutting Down Ahead of Disney Plus Debut

    After 11 years, Disney is pulling the plug on Disney Family Movies On Demand — with the service’s shutdown coming just days before the launch of the Mouse House’s Disney Plus. Disney Family Movies, which cost between $5-$10 per month, has been available via pay-TV providers in the U.S., including Comcast Xfinity, Charter Communications, Verizon [...]

  • Sunnyside

    TV Ratings: 'Sunnyside' Stable in Final Broadcast Episode

    NBC’s “Sunnyside,” which was pulled from the network’s schedule this week, closed off its broadcast run to roughly the same numbers as last week. The Kal Penn comedy posted a 0.3 rating and 1.2 million total viewers, continuing its run as the lowest rated and least watched new fall show in Live+Same Day. NBC has [...]

  • Bill Macy dead

    Bill Macy, 'Maude' Star, Dies at 97

    Bill Macy, who played Bea Arthur’s husband Walter Findlay on the “All in the Family” spinoff, “Maude,” died on Thursday. He was 97. “My buddy Bill Macy passed away at 7:13pm tonight. He was a spitfire right up to the end,” producer and manager Matt Beckoff wrote on Facebook. “My condolences to his beautiful wife Samantha [...]

  • Credit: Netflix / Black Mirror

    All3Media Drops Out of the Bidding for Endemol Shine (EXCLUSIVE)

    All3Media has dropped out of the running to buy rival production and distribution giant Endemol Shine, Variety has learned. All3Media, jointly owned by Discovery and Liberty Global, had lately been running the numbers to see if the acquisition made sense. Liberty is building up a huge war chest, having gained approval to offload a raft [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content