ENGLEWOOD, Colo., June 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --In an effort to drastically raise rates amid declining viewership, today Univision Communications Inc. blocked DishLATINO and DISH customers from accessing three of its channels: Univision and UniMás (including local affiliates), and Galavisión. Univision has also blocked Sling customers from accessing all of its channels on the service.
Despite ratings for these channels decreasing by approximately 30 percent over the past five years among DISH customers, Univision is demanding rate increases of roughly 75 percent. In fact, ratings for its flagship Univision channel have declined nearly 40 percent since 2012.
"Univision's attempted price hikes target Hispanics despite the fact that fewer members of our community are watching Univision," said Alfredo Rodríguez Diaz-Marta, Vice President of DishLATINO and Sling Latino.
Downward ratings trends are expected to continue. 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.
"We have served the Hispanic community for nearly 20 years, and as the leading provider of TV packages in English and Spanish, we owe it to our customers to deliver the best content at the best value," said Rodríguez Diaz-Marta. "For example, in the spirit of our 'sigamos haciéndola' campaign, we will soon be the first to launch a new, commercial-free channel wholly dedicated to teaching English as a second language to learners of all levels. This channel will be available to DishLATINO and Sling Latino customers at no additional cost."
Univision has a history of resorting to blackouts to gain leverage in negotiations. In the last two years, they have blacked out millions of viewers, including customers of AT&T, Charter and Verizon (in a takedown lasting over a month).
In many markets, Univision is available for free, over the air, with an antenna. To help ensure customers don't lose access to Univision shows as discussions continue, DISH, DishLATINO and Sling TV are making antennas available for free to customers in eligible areas. DISH and DishLATINO customers seeking more information can visit dishpromise.com or dishlatino.com/promesa. Sling customers can visit help.sling.com or ayuda.sling.com.
Univision also sells its top two networks direct to consumers through a streaming product called Univision Now. That product is available for $7.99 per month, yet the programmer is asking DishLATINO and Sling Latino subscribers to pay almost double for the same content.
To ensure customers have additional Spanish-language entertainment options during this time, DishLATINO is making news and entertainment channels available at no extra cost. These options include Multimedios (now available on channels 271, 272, 830 and 831), Mexicanal (now available on channels 273 and 833), and additional free movies on channel 828. Sling TV is providing customers who have the the Best of Spanish TV service or Best of Spanish TV Extra a free preview of the Mexico Regional Service.
"Given current events impacting the Hispanic community, we call on Univision to return its signal to DISH, DishLATINO and Sling TV customers as soon as possible. This is not the time to be making outrageous demands to make up for bad business decisions, or, as many have suggested, better position themselves for a sale," said Rodríguez Diaz-Marta.
DISH and DishLATINO customers seeking more information can visit dishpromise.com or dishlatino.com/promesa. Sling customers can visit help.sling.com or ayuda.sling.com. The list of affected local markets is available here.
About DISH Network L.L.C. Since 1980, DISH has worked on behalf of consumers to deliver innovation and value. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides television entertainment and award-winning technology to millions of customers. DISH Network L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), a Fortune 250 company. Visit www.dish.com.
About DishLATINO DishLATINO is the market-leading suite of English and Spanish language programming packages in the United States. It offers its customers 40 Spanish-language news, entertainment, and sports channels in combination with DISH's broad English-language programming lineup of more than 200 channels. DishLATINO customers can receive the Hopper, the industry's most awarded DVR, and take advantage of in-language customer service as well as payment solutions including a no-term contract, prepaid pay-TV option.