Real-life men and women who work in the advertising business on Madison Avenue are very uphappy about escalating retrans battles such as the dispute between Dish Network and AMC, which is keeping TV’s "Mad Men" off that satellite supplier, reports the New York Post.
Writes our good friend Claire Atkinson at the Post: "Ad execs say that escalating programming battles — which in the past rarely resulted in the loss of a channel — are hurting TV ratings, disrupting scheduled commercial time and jacking up rates. The situation is bad enough that some Madison Avenue execs say it threatens to upend the entire pay-TV business model."
The story adds, "Just last week, New York station WPIX went dark in more than 3 million Cablevision homes, leaving marketers scrambling to place their back-to-school ads elsewhere.
“ ‘If you’re in New York and you’re buying their news, it takes supply out of the market and pushes up prices,’ said Marc Morse, a top TV buyer with RJ Palmer. ‘People have said this is unacceptable, they’ve got to get their act together.’ "
The story adds, "So far this year, there’s been a 35 percent uptick in programming disputes, with channel blackouts hitting 73 markets around the country, according to the American TV Alliance, which is backed by cable and satellite-TV companies.
"Advertisers are also suffering from Dish Network’s decision to dump AMC Networks, home to ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad.’ Satellite-TV provider Dish is in 14 million homes."
Atkinson also spoke to Rino Scanzoni, a top Madison Avenue executive: " ‘I don’t think this problem is going away, it’s going to get more heated,’ said Rino Scanzoni, who as GroupM’s chief investment officer oversees $25 billion in US ad spending. ‘The big concern I have is that this could lead to an a la carte menu, and advertisers lose if cable channels lose distribution.’ ”