Univision lifestyle channels still dark on Dish amid ongoing carriage dispute

Dish Network dish and set-top
Dish has yanked four Univision channels. (Dish Network)

The latest carriage battle to roil the television landscape—satellite group Dish Network dropping four Univision Communications lifestyle channels—is still underway with little clarity on the state of negotiations.  

A Dish representative reprised a statement on Wednesday from several days earlier that “Univision has yet to even send us a proposal to begin negotiations.” 

Univision also stuck by its previous statement: “We are actively negotiating to restore the music and movie programming audiences love to their lineup.”  

The four channels—Bandamax, Telehit, De Pelicula and Clasico—went dark on Dish as of Saturday, 7 p.m. ET as their carriage deal expired.

Disputes over carriage fees between operators and programmers—including a dramatic three-day blackout of CBS networks on Dish late last year—have become a permanent feature of today’s media landscape as programming costs rise and viewing habits shift.

“We are very disappointed that Dish has decided to drop our lifestyle channels,” Univision said. “Together, Telehit and Bandamax serve an often-ignored audience that looks to consume culturally-relevant content that represents their world in ways other channels do not: by providing the music, lifestyle and celebrity entertainment geared toward a young Latino audience.”

Dish claimed viewership for the major channels, Telehit and Bandamax, had fallen by nearly 40% over the past five years. It said it’s providing similar channels including Azteca Cinema, Estudio 5, Videorola and Azteca Clic in their place at no extra cost “so that our customers don’t miss out on culturally relevant entertainment they enjoy.”

“Dish constantly evaluates the content we carry, and we work to provide channels that our customers desire at the best value,” the company added.

Univision and Dish have tangled before. Last summer, Dish filed a suit in New York’s Southern District against Univision Local Media, Univision Networks and Univision Puerto Rico for the programmer’s plans to stream the entire Liga MX season on Facebook Live.