NBC Universal, Liberty Puerto Rico reach agreement on Telemundo, 13 channels
Weekend blackout over
SAN JUAN – Cable TV provider Liberty Puerto Rico was operating over the weekend minus several popular channels, a matter that has since been resolved after a retransmission agreement with NBCUniversal Media was reached.
Although specifics about the deal were not revealed, Liberty’s about 215,000 subscribers in Puerto Rico regained access to Telemundo (channel 2) and NBC Puerto Rico, and Universo, USA, MSNBC, Bravo, E!, CNBC, Syfy, Oxygen, Golf Channel, Universal Kids and Punto 2.
“Today’s agreement really puts the customer first and brings back channels that they love,” said Stephane David, vice president, chief programming officer of Liberty Latin America. “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with NBCUniversal and look forward to continuing to provide our customers with high-quality content from all of our partners.”
“Liberty Cablevision is an important distribution partner and NBCUniversal is pleased to have reached a distribution agreement that will benefit customers in Puerto Rico,” stated Matt Schnaars, senior vice president, NBCUniversal Content Distribution. “Telemundo in particular has a special bond with the people of Puerto Rico and we are pleased our quality entertainment, news and sports will be available to Liberty subscribers.”
Liberty had said last week that conglomerate NBCUniversal Media was blocking access to the channels because of a spat over a rate increase that “would see retransmission for these channels more than double over two years.”
“After years of cooperation and several months of discussions, we are disappointed to see NBCUniversal use their size and scale to bully a local provider and put our customers in the middle of negotiations,” Naji Khoury, president and CEO of Liberty Puerto Rico, said last week.
On the island Telemundo (channel 2) and NBC Puerto Rico are broadcast over the air and thus available for free with the use of an antenna and digital converter.
Khoury stressed that Liberty was not in a position to charge the same monthly fees to customers on the island as cable operators stateside can because “the situation in Puerto Rico is very different at this time as Liberty is recovering, together with the island, from the massive challenges and investments that have been made to rebuild after hurricanes Irma and María,” according to a release issued last week.