Dish Network made good on a threat to drop AMC’s networks in a dispute over bundling lower-rated networks such as IFC with the flagship AMC network, reports The New York Times. AMC offers popular programming including “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad.”
The change affects the 14 million customers of Dish, the story notes.
As we reported previously, Dave Shull, senior vice president for programming for Dish, issued a statement saying: "AMC Networks requires us to carry low-rated channels like IFC and WE tv to access a few popular AMC shows. The math is simple: it’s not a good value for our customers."
However, AMC claims Dish dropped its networks because of an unrelated lawsuit, according to a statement from the programmer. "In fact, Dish has not discussed rates with us at all," AMC said in its statement. "Dish customers have lost some of their favorite shows because of an unrelated lawsuit which has nothing at all to do with our programming.”
The lawsuit stems from 2008, when Dish stopped carrying old networks operated by AMC. Dish told AMC that it wouldn’t renew its contract for AMC, WE tv and IFC shortly after a judge rejected an appeal by Dish in April, the piece notes.
In a related story, Bloomberg reports that AT&T’s U-verse television service has agreed to keep AMC’s networks on its lineup. The deal means 4 million U-verse customers will continue to have access to AMC, IFC, WE tv and Sundance. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Before the announcement, AT&T had complained that AMC was seeking "an excessive rate increase," almost double what other competitors pay for AMC Networks’ channels, the story notes.
The deal means that U-verse customers are assured of having AMC in time for the season premiere of "Breaking Bad" on July 15, Bloomberg notes.