The former owners of the cable company Cablevision are now in a battle with the firm that bought the company from them for $17.7 billion back in June. After selling the company to the Netherlands-based telecom giant Altice Group, the Dolan family, which controls AMC Networks, is now battling with Altice over programming fees, The New York Post reports.
“AMC Networks airs the hugely popular ‘Walking Dead’ series on its flagship network and owns other channels including IFC and WE,” The Post reports. “It has been running a crawl telling viewers they could lose access to the channels if it is not able to come to an agreement with Altice, which operates the Optimum-branded service.”
With the Altice-AMC deal set to expire Dec. 31, Altice was talking tough. A rep is quoted by The Post saying: “AMC Networks is using misleading scare tactics, threatening to black out its programming unless we agree to their excessive demands and pay significantly more to carry the same AMC channels our customers currently receive, all of which have declining viewership on our systems.”
AMC Networks said it remains committed to negotiating with Altice. AMC said in a statement: “We have a long history of working with and creating value for Cablevision and Suddenlink and their customers, who enjoy our popular shows including AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead,’ the #1 show on television for the past five years. We are seeking nothing more than fair value for our programming, consistent with all of our recent distribution agreements.”
The Post adds: “Altice called the behavior of the Dolan family’s AMC Networks ‘disappointing but not surprising given it has a history of using viewers as pawns to extract significantly higher fees from distributors.’”