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Published on July 2nd, 2018 | by Brad Gibson

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On heels of Univision price impasse, Sling TV giving some customers a refund

Sling TV has announced that they have started to refund subscribers of their Broadcast Extra add-on package after Univision cut its service of three channels to them over the weekend in a price dispute between the two companies.

A spokesperson with Sling confirmed to BESTApple TV Monday that the company has stopped offering that $5 Broadcast Extra package and anyone currently subscribing to the package is being refunded that amount.

Univision cut the feed of three channels – Univision and UniMás (including local affiliates), and Galavisión – Saturday after negotiations to hammer out a new distribution deal failed Friday on the eve of the contract deadline. It was not immediately clear how long the outage might last.

Univision has been seeking higher fees to bring its Spanish-language channels closer to those charged by English-language networks, such as ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

In a statement to subscribers of the add-on, the company said customers should expect a refund to their accounts soon.

“We are reaching out to let you know that we are not currently offering our Broadcast Extra Package, which includes ABC, Univision, and UniMás,” the statement read. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. We refunded your card on file $5, which is the full price you paid for Broadcast Extra in your last bill. You should see that refund on your card in the next 3–5 days. We will notify you if this package becomes available again.”

Sling TV also confirmed the news in an online post, saying “Regrettably, we do not have any information at this time as to whether these channels will be returning to the Sling TV lineup.”

On Sunday, Sling TV took a direct hit at Univision in an online statement by accusing it of “demanding an unfair price for their channels.”

Sling TV said “We’re fighting for you to get the best quality content at the best value” and said the price increase comes as Univision’s viewership is falling.

“Despite ratings for these channels decreasing by approximately 30 percent over the past five years…, Univision is demanding rate increases of roughly 75 percent. In fact, ratings for its flagship Univision channel have declined nearly 40 percent since 2012.”

Sling TV statement went on to say that Univision “has a history of resorting to blackouts to gain leverage in negotiations.” In the last two years, they have blacked out millions of viewers, including customers of AT&T, Charter and Verizon in blackouts lasting over a month.

Univision responded to the Sling comments by saying Dish – the parent company of Sling TV and the Dish network satellite service – was playing hardball.

“It is outrageous that Dish has rejected our offer of a two-week contract extension,” Univision said in a statement Saturday. “While Dish has routinely used blackouts against broadcasters— its 68 broadcast blackouts since 2010 are significantly more than any other distributor in that time — Univision expected Dish to take our negotiations and its commitment to Hispanic consumers seriously.”

The Sling TV app is available for download from the Apple TV App Store. The service has been available on Apple TV since June of 2016.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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