Menendez, Booker Call for Resolution in Univision-Verizon Retransmission Dispute

Menendez, Booker Call for Resolution in Univision-Verizon Retransmission Dispute

Spanish language news channel has been dark on FiOS

 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today joined Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in calling on Verizon and Univision Communications to settle their retransmission consent dispute that, as of last week, has made Univision unavailable on Verizon’s FiOS platform. The Senators also called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action to bring the parties together so these negotiations can be concluded quickly and fairly. 

“This retransmission dispute is particularly serious in light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico,” the Senators wrote in a letter to the Chairman of the FCC, and the CEOs of Verizon and Univision. “As the situation in Puerto Rico changes, access to Spanish-language news programming is crucial.  We believe the public interest would be best served if carriage is restored by the parties at the earliest possible time so that consumers are no longer caught in the middle.”

A copy of the letter is below and can be found HERE.

The Honorable Ajit Pai

Chairman

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th St. SW

Washington, DC 20554

 

Mr. Lowell C. McAdam

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Verizon

1095 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10036

 

Mr. Randy Falco

President and Chief Executive Officer

Univision Communications

605 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10158

 

Dear Chairman Pai, Mr. McAdam, and Mr. Falco:

We write to express our concern about the ongoing retransmission consent dispute between Univision and Verizon.  As of last week, Univision is no longer available on Verizon’s FiOS platform.

This retransmission dispute is particularly serious in light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. As the situation in Puerto Rico changes, access to Spanish-language news programming is crucial.  We believe the public interest would be best served if carriage is restored by the parties at the earliest possible time so that consumers are no longer caught in the middle.

We make no representations as to the merits of either side’s position, as they are contractual discussions between private parties.  Nevertheless, we encourage both parties to engage in good faith negotiations to resolve this issue.  We also request that the Commission take action to bring the parties together so these negotiations can be concluded in an equitable and expeditious manner.  Consumers should no longer be unfairly disadvantaged as a result of this dispute.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

 

 

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Press Contact

juan_pachone@menendez.senate.gov