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Univision, Dish Network Reach Carriage Deal After Nine-Month Blackout

Univision and satcaster Dish Network have reached a carriage agreement after a nine-month blackout that marked one of the longest standoffs between a major programmer and distributor.

Univision channels went dark on Dish Network’s satellite and streaming platforms on June 30. The sides were at odds over carriage fees that have become increasingly contentious for large MVPDs as they adjust to the influx of lower-cost competition in the pay-TV eco-system.

This past weekend, Viacom went down to the wire in talks with DirecTV on a new deal that was make-or-break for the parent company of Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and more. Dish Network and its Sling TV platform reach about 12.2 million total subscribers. The long interruption of fees from Dish’s national service took a toll on Univision’s earnings in recent quarters. Univision outlets were restored Tuesday on Dish Network’s satellite service reaching about 10 million viewers, but the channels will not return to Dish’s low-cost Sling TV skinny bundle.

The litigation that cropped up as a result of the long dispute has also been settled, the sides confirmed Tuesday. In October, Univision sued Dish for false advertising and claims that Univision stations were still part of Dish’s basic package. Dish sued Univision for in January, claiming the Univision Now streaming services and other platforms infringed on four of Dish’s patents related to streaming technology.

“We want to thank our Dish customers for their patience as we worked to reach an agreement that is fair to all parties, especially our customers,” said Erik Carlson, Dish president and CEO. “For more than 20 years, DISH has led our industry in serving the U.S. Hispanic community, and today’s announcement is reflective of our commitment to delivering quality content at the right value.”

The agreement covers Univision-owned TV stations and niche cablers featured on various Dish Latino-centric packages: UniMás, Univision Deportes Network, Galavisión, Tlnovelas and FOROtv.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Dish that recognizes the value of our top-rated networks and stations,” said Univision chief executive officer Vince Sadusky. “We look forward to once again providing Dish and DishLatino customers with the news, sports, and entertainment content they love.”

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