Charter Communications and Univision have entered into mediation on a programming dispute that briefly resulted in a blackout of the Spanish-language programmer on the No. 2 MSO, an individual close to the negotiations told FierceCable.
Reps for both Univision and Charter have yet to respond to FierceCable’s inquiries for comment. New York court records, meanwhile, reveal that a hearing on the blackout injunction is still scheduled for Feb. 27.
On Monday, it was reported that a Feb. 9 hearing in Manhattan on the suit had been postponed. Univision blacked out its channels on Charter late last month, but they were restored on the MSO on Feb. 2 when a judge temporarily overseeing the case ordered an injunction of the blackout. According to Charter, that injunction was supposed to be limited by the case’s permanent judge during the ultimately postponed Feb. 9 hearing.
The prospect of mediation marks a possible turning point in the kerfuffle that began last July, when Univision sued Charter, alleging that the MSO was illegitimately using the superior content licensing agreement of the company it just purchased, Time Warner Cable, to retransmit and carry Univision channels. These outlets included not only the Univision flagship network, but also the UniMas broadcast network and cable channels Galavision, El Rey and Univision Deportes.
Charter is defending itself not just against Univision, but also 21st Century Fox and CBS Corp. over the cable company’s attempt to use superior content-licensing agreements acquired during the company’s purchase of TWC.
In the case of Univision, Charter’s legacy contract with the broadcaster just expired, while TWC’s doesn’t end until 2022.
“We have a contract with Univision and expect them to honor it,” Charter has repeatedly stated.
For its part, Univision said it "remains ready and willing to meet at any time with Charter Spectrum to engage in comprehensive, good-faith negotiations for the long term carriage of our stations and networks. To date, Charter Spectrum has steadfastly refused to engage in such negotiations.”