Reports indicate that the Univision stations in Los Angeles, New York, and many other popular markets might go dark on Charter Communications starting this month. This is because the Spanish-language giant is engaged in a dispute with the cable service provider over carriage terms.
The officials from Univision recently claimed that the second largest cable provider in the country has breached their contract agreements, which existed before Charter’s merger with Time Warner Cable. Univision added that Charter had to renegotiate their retransmission consent agreement after the merger, if they wanted to carry the stations of Univision.
Univision has already started to warn Charter subscribers about a potential blackout of their stations through on-air messages in the affected regions. On the other hand, Charter Communications stated that they have signed a long-term agreement with Univision, which allows them to carry their stations. Experts believe that Charter may even file a legal suit against Univision to stop them from pulling their signals.
On the contrary, a recent statement from Univision notes, “This is a perfect example of how a behemoth cable company like Charter uses its excessive market power to harm content companies and the millions of subscribers who rely on Univision and its suite of networks for vital news and information in language.”
“Despite Univision’s many attempts to resolve the dispute by offering good-faith settlement solutions, Charter has rejected all of Univision’s efforts. Given this unfortunate impasse, Univision has no choice but to inform Charter’s customers that they may lose access to Univision’s networks and stations. Univision is committed to continuing to fight for the dignity and value of our community in the marketplace and the important role we play in providing a voice for Hispanic America during these uncertain times,” Univision officials added.
The dispute between the two parties is actually over which contract governs the deal of Charter Communications with Univision. Time Warner Cable was able to secure a more advantageous terms with Univision for retransmission consent because they were a much bigger cable service provider than Charter Communications.
Univision claims that Charter has breached the pre-merger contract between them as the company is currently paying Univision under Time Warner Cable. Fox News had also filed a similar lawsuit against Charter Communications on similar grounds a few weeks ago. If the dispute between Charter and Univision continues, then Charter subscribers will certainly loss their access to Univision stations.