U-verse threatened with Univision blackout

Spanish-language programmer Univision said its channels will go dark on AT&T U-verse  (NYSE: T) if a new carriage deal isn't hammered out by Feb. 28.

In an internal Univision memo obtained by Multichannel News, the programmer said several previous attempts to come to terms with AT&T have failed, and that it was now setting a blackout deadline.

AT&T responded with this statement: "We continue in active and private discussions with Univision to continue carrying their programming on U-verse."

A blackout would not only take Univision broadcast stations off U-verse, but also cable channels including UniMás, Galavisión and Univision Deportes Network.

"Our partnership with AT&T, like all other pay TV providers, is very important for UCI and our viewers," Univision added in its memo "First, it provides Hispanic America with the vital access to UCI's content and resources on a premier platform such as U-verse. Also, the economics of this partnership provide UCI the ability to reinvest in technology, content and new community initiatives and campaigns that have been, and continue to be, a lifeline for our consumers."

For its part, AT&T is trying to migrate its video customer base to its newly acquired DirecTV platform, which serves nearly four times as many subscribers and — as a result — has far more leverage in terms of program licensing negotiations. 

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story

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