Charter blackout lift only good until Feb. 9, Univision says


A ruling by a Manhattan judge for Univision to restore its channels on Charter Communications is only temporary, the Spanish-language programmer said.

“A  judge who was temporarily assigned to our case today said that she planned to issue an order that Univision's networks and stations had to be restored on Charter Spectrum for seven days,” Univision said in a statement. “This order only lasts until February 9, when the judge permanently assigned to the litigation is back in court. For the seven-day period that it is receiving Univision’s services, Charter Spectrum will be required to post a bond covering the actual market value of Univision’s programming, rather than the inadequate rates that Charter Spectrum has been paying.”

RELATED: Univision blacks out Charter

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On Thursday, New York Superior Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla granted Charter’s request for a temporary restraining order against Univision. 

After a legal dispute dating back to last summer, Univision blacked out its channels on the No. 2 cable operator earlier this week. In addition to the flagship Univision network, the blackout included 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 Time Warner Cable. The plaintiffs say Charter has illegitimately posed in negotiations as having been acquired by TWC, and not the other way around, so as to leverage the TWC contracts and their superior terms. 

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.” 

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