Add Univision Communications to the list of broadcast media companies who have fallen victim to retransmission fee negotiations gone bad with a video services provider in 2017.
The company has been unsuccessful in its quest for a new accord with Verizon, ensuring that its Univision and UniMás broadcast networks remain on Verizon FiOs channel lineups across the nation. Also impacted is the Galavisión network, traditionally one of the most-watched Spanish-language cable networks in the U.S.
A Univision spokesperson tells RBR+TVBR that the agreement does not include the English-language FUSION TV network.
Univision offered an extension of its current agreement, which has expired.
However, Univision says, Verizon declined to extend the old deal.
Thus, “entirely without warning,” Verizon dropped all Univision stations from both its FiOs and mobile platforms at 5pm Eastern on Monday (10/16).
In a statement, Univision stated, “Verizon chose to take this unprecedented action despite Univision’s offer of an extension of the current agreement.”
It then turned to wildfires in Northern California, and recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and in Puerto Rico, to put Verizon in a bad light.
“In light of recent natural disasters and current events impacting the Hispanic community, we are surprised and deeply concerned that Verizon would remove us from its systems— and without warning to its customers,” Univision said. “We urge Verizon to put Univision back on and come back to the negotiating table and prove its commitment to the Hispanic community and show that it understands the value of Spanish-language programming.”
A Verizon statement issued late Monday claims that Univision is proposing an increase “of more than double what they charge for access to their channels today.”
The Wall Street Journal quoted a spokesman as saying that the push for a price increase comes at a time when “we believe the appeal for Univision programming is waning given their reported declining viewership.”