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What Was behind the Dispute between DISH and Univision?

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Mar. 28 2019, Updated 8:04 a.m. ET

DISH and Univision agreement

Univision and Dish Network (DISH) reached a carriage agreement on Tuesday after undergoing one of the longest disputes between a programmer and distributor. Similarly, AT&T (T) and Viacom (VIAB) averted the blackout of Viacom’s 23 popular stations like MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon.

The Dish-Univision settlement means Univision channels will again be available on Dish Network’s satellite and streaming platforms. Univision will now reach about 10 million viewers through various Latino-centric packages from Dish like UniMás, Univision Deportes Network, Galavisión, Tlnovelas, and FOROtv. However, Univision channels are still dark for Dish’s low-cost Sling TV skinny bundle.

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Carriage dispute

Dish customers have been suffering from the blackout of Spanish-language broadcaster Univision since June 2018. Then in October, Univision charged Dish Network with false advertisement and for claiming that Univision networks were still part of Dish’s basic package. Dish then sued Univision in January, alleging that Univision Now’s streaming services and other platforms infringed on four of Dish’s patents related to streaming technology.

Along with the long-standing dispute of nine months, the companies settled the litigation that occurred due to the carriage fee dispute.

Apart from Univision, Dish Network suffered due to the blackout of AT&T’s HBO and Cinemax channels from the Dish TV and Sling TV programming in the fourth quarter, which negatively affected pay-TV subscribers and churn rates.

Dish TV’s churn rate reached 1.78% in 2018, flat from the year-ago period. Churn was 1.97% in 2016 for the satellite TV service.

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