Telemundo, NBCU Face Liberty Puerto Rico Blackout

Agreement expires Thursday at 6p.m. ET
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NBCUniversal has begun warning viewers in Puerto Rico that subscribers of Liberty Cablevision might lose access to the local Telemundo station and NBC’s cable networks at 6 p.m. ET Thursday.

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The agreement between NBC and Liberty Cablevision was set to expire at the end of the year, but Liberty Cablevision had a contractual right to opt out early and notified NBCU earlier this year that because of the economic problems in Puerto Rico stemming from Hurricane Maria in 2017, the cable company was seeking financial relief from the programmer.

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A deal appeared to be struck, but that deal was rejected at the last minute by Liberty Latin America’s board. A counter-offer was not made by Liberty Latin America.

Telemundo website warns cable subscribers that a blackout approaches.

Telemundo website warns cable subscribers that a blackout approaches.

“Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico is dropping Telemundo, NBC and the NBCUniversal cable networks on Thursday evening, after the Liberty Latin America Board rejected the agreement that their leadership team in Puerto Rico had negotiated and accepted as fair,” NBCU said in a statement. “NBCUniversal is sensitive to challenges on the island and proposed terms and prices that recognized the difficult situation in Puerto Rico.”

NBCU is urging Liberty subscribers should visit a new website, www.necesitotelemundo.com, or call 855-5-TELEMUNDO.

Liberty Cablevision is the major cable operator on Puerto Rico with about 215,000 subscribers.

Telemundo’s WKAQ-TV is a key station in the market and helped raise money after the hurricane.

Also affected by the potential blackout are cable networks Universo, USA, MSNBC, Bravo, E!, CNBC, Syfy, Oxygen, Golf Channel, Universal Kids and Punto 2.

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