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Univision and AT&T extend truce in carriage dispute

Univision and AT&T extend truce in carriage dispute
AT&T and Univision declared a truce in a carriage fee dispute to allow Spanish-language customers of U-Verse to watch Univision's Democratic presidential debate in Miami. Pictured are the debate moderators, Univision co-anchors Jorge Ramos, left, and Maria Elena Salinas, and Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post, which co-sponsored the debate. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Media companies AT&T and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications have fashioned an agreement to keep Univision programming on the U-Verse pay-TV system for several days to give the two sides time to hammer out a new distribution deal.

The companies said late Friday that they had agreed to a short-term extension for carriage of the flagship Univision network. The current pact expires at 10 p.m. PDT Tuesday night.

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The deal extends a truce in the carriage dispute. However, Univision's other networks -- including UniMas and Galavision -- are not covered by the extension and thus remain off the air.

Late last week, when the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new carriage contract, Univision's networks were removed from AT&T's U-Verse pay-TV system, which serves about 6 million homes nationwide.

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Earlier this week, the two companies agreed to restore service for the main Univision network so that Spanish-speaking viewers could watch the Wednesday debate in Miami between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Univision sponsored the debate.

"We appreciate Univision agreeing to our request earlier today to unblock their channels temporarily during the Democratic presidential debate," AT&T said in a statement at the time.

About 2 million people watched the debate on Univision, according to Nielsen data. However, it was unclear how many of those viewers were U-Verse customers.

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