Univision to stay on Dish


Just a few days ago Univision President Ray Rodriguez was doubtful about the outcome of retransmission consent negotiations with Dish Network. But now a deal has been struck and Univision’s local O&Os will stay on Dish, along with its Univision, TeleFutura and Galavision network feeds.

Terms of the new agreement were not disclosed, but the joint release quoted every body as being just as happy as they could be.

“For more than a decade, Dish Network has been dedicated to providing the best Latino programming at the lowest possible prices. This new agreement with Univision demonstrates our continued commitment to the Latino community by delivering some of the highest quality Spanish-language programming available anywhere,” said Charlie Ergen, Chairman, CEO and President of Dish Network.

“We look forward to this long-term partnership with Dish Network. We would both like to thank our viewers and Dish Network customers for their patience and support during the negotiations,” said Joe Uva, CEO of Univision Communications Inc.

Also this week, Univision signed a new retrans agreement with Time Warner Cable, covering its O&Os and network feeds. The deal also includes Univision and GTeleFutura affiliates owned by Entravision and Equity Media Holdings in various markets.

In their quarterly conference call, Univision officials said retrans payments would add more than $100 million to the top line in 2009.

RBR/TVBR observation: It was hard to imagine that the #2 satellite TV carrier would risk going without the #1 Spanish TV network, but the talks certainly went down to the wire. Although Dish (and competitor DirecTV) were paying retrans fees to broadcasters long before the cable MSOs, Charlie Ergen’s Dish has had several renewal standoffs with TV owners in recent months. Fisher Communications, we would note, is still at odds with Dish and its stations have been off the bird since the beginning of this year.