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Univision / Verizon

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) President and CEO Alex Nogales has written a letter to Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam threatening to rally Latino leaders across the country against "Verizon products and services," if Verizon doesn't reinstate access to Univision for East Coast consumers.

Why it matters: The letter, obtained by Axios, shows particular concern over the fact that the signal was pulled Monday night from Verizon's Fios and mobile products without warning and that it was removed at a time when Hispanic viewers need coverage of catastrophic events affecting families and businesses in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Verizon argues in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai that they have offered alternative programming options to consumers and outlined the carriage fee negotiations.

"Despite diligent efforts by Verizon over the last two-plus months to reach reasonable termswith Univision and considerable movement on our own part during those negotiations, Univision has consistently insisted on unreasonable terms that would raise prices and harm our customers," the letter says.

New wrinkles: Fights between Pay-TV providers and cable networks happen often, but this one is different.

  1. Univision says the blackout happened without warning. Typically both parties, the distributor and the content provider, come to terms about next steps before a signal is removed during a dispute. People familiar with the matter say that has not been the case, and that the signal was pulled unexpectedly.
  2. The blackout has humanitarian effects: Univision argues that Verizon is not taking moral considerations when blacking out its signal from Hispanic communities that are reliant on access to Univision for information about the effects of the natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Mexico
  3. The blackout occurred on the distributor side. Often it's the network that threatens to pull a signal because a pay-TV provider refuses to meet their carriage fee demands. This time, Verizon pulled out of the agreement, citing cost.

The bigger picture: The fight is the latest example of what happens when a Pay-TV provider and a cable network can't agree on a new contract, which has been happening at an increasing rate. These disputes have led to more TV blackouts in 2017 than any year prior, per the American Television Alliance. By 2022, SNL Kagan predicts that retransmission fees being charged by TV networks will increase by roughly 50%, reaching a record-high of $11.6 billion.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

5 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. on Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest hours later, per AP.