Univision Attacks DISH In Court With Counter-Claims


The battle between Univision and DISH has heated up in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, as Unvision has filed counter-claims against the DBS provider, which is the plaintiff in this legal matter.

Why? We reviewed the 36-page filing made October 12, and have some of the details.

MIAMI — In early July, Univision Communications’ broadcast and cable TV channels were pulled from DISH Network lineups across the U.S. A new retransmission fee agreement could not be reached as the previous one expired.

The weeks since have been filled with vitriol-filled barbs flung at one another. During Univision’s Q2 2018 earnings call, newly arrived Univision CEO Vince Sadusky encouraged customers to dump DISH and find a new provider “that supports the Hispanic community and carries Univision’s Spanish-language programming.”

For its part, DISH is offering rebates to subscribers. Further, in response to data that say there’s demand among its Hispanic customers for such a channel, DISH on October 4 launched Inglés Para Todos, an HD offering on DISH and Sling TV “dedicated to teaching English as a Second Language (ESL).”

The battle between Univision and DISH landed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, as DISH sued in late July sued Univision for broadcasting Liga MX games for free in English on Facebook.

Univision tied to toss the lawsuit, but the court wouldn’t budge.

Now, in a 36-page legal filing made October 12, Univision is demanding a jury trial while providing an “amended answer and counterclaims” in response to DISH’s complaint.

What’s the biggest charge? False advertising and trademark infringement are at the crux of Univision’s arguments.

Stating as “Fact” that DISH has failed to pay “millions of dollars” in license fees and interest under the agreement that expired.

Much of the language is redacted, and blocked from public view. However, the filing does note that TuTV service payments and Sling TV service payments are past due.

It also offers the claim that DISH in the late-night hours of October 11 stated that payments would be sent but “provided no assurances to the amount it would be paying.”

Then, Univision attacked DISH for continuing to “falsely advertise” to the public that its networks are available on its satellite TV platform. Univision’s proof? A screenshot taken August 31 of a web page promoting DISH’s Latino Bonus Pack that showed Univision, UniMás and Galavision as part of the channel lineup. Additionally, authorized Dish retailer-distributed flyers in early September advertised Univision services as part of Dish’s Latino package.

Dish admits this is true, Univision says.

So, what does Univision seek from the court? Its “Prayer For Relief” seeks damages for its “breach of contract” for non-payment under is prior agreement and OTT agreement; damages tied to the “false advertising and trademark infringement”; “that Dish account for disgorge, and pay over to Univision all profits DISH realized as a result of [its] unlawful acts”; a permanent injunction stopping DISH from using all Univision logos and trademarks; and a corrective online ad and to viewers in Miami and Chicago.

Univision’s legal counsel in the matter is led by David Yohai of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP of New York.