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Univision complains about DISH's marketing of channels

Univision Communications Inc. complained to the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over DISH Network Corp.'s marketing of its channels even though they have gone dark on the satellite service, Multichannel News reported Oct. 16, citing a letter sent to the heads of the agencies.

The companies are engaged in a retrans consent dispute, as a result of which DISH lost access to Univision (US), UniMas and Galavision (US) networks.

In the letter, Univision said DISH was trying to discourage customers from switching to another service provider by claiming that the channels will become available on DISH soon or issuing marketing materials that suggested the channels were still available on DISH.

DISH, however, said its agents were not misrepresenting the status of the talks with Univision and any inaccuracies that pointed out were exceptions and not a "systematic issue." Also, DISH accused Univision of demanding "considerably more" from the company, despite a material decline in its overall ratings.

"We refuse to allow our customers to pay outrageous increases, especially for content that is available for free over the air, as well as available online for substantially less than Univision is trying to charge DISH customers," the company argued in a statement. DISH is offering a $5-per-month credit to DishLATINO customers, replacement content and over-the-air antennas in select markets.

Recently, North Carolina Attorney General Joshua Stein sought information from DISH regarding its carriage dispute with Univision.