1:32pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Univision, Charter Agree on Programming Ceasefire Through June
Charter Communications and Univision are pushing pause on any potential station blackouts until a judge rules on motions for summary judgment in the ongoing lawsuit between the cable provider and the network.
After Univision pulled its Spanish-language programming in February, Charter filed an emergency motion and the court issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the broadcaster from continuing to withhold its content.
The legal fight began last July, shortly after Charter closed its $71.4 billion merger with Time Warner Cable. Univision claims the cabler is using its acquisition of TWC to impose below-market license fees. Univision's licensing agreement with Charter expired in June, but its deal with TWC runs through 2022 — and the two media companies disagree on which contract now controls their relationship.
Instead of fighting further over whether to extend the temporary injunction, Univision and Charter have reached an agreement that will allow millions of subscribers to watch its channels into the summer months.
"Univision will continue to provide the signals of its stations and networks to Charter through the determination of motions for summary judgment," says the stipulated order. "Both parties will file for summary judgment on liability as to their respective declaratory judgment claims ... by May 25, 2017."
The parties also have agreed to set aside damages issues and any other potential counterclaims until after the court rules on the summary judgment motions.
A hearing is currently set for June 30. Univision is represented by attorneys from Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Charter Communications is represented by a team from Kirkland & Ellis.