AMC Channels Dropped by Dish Over Fee Dispute

by Christopher Freeburn | July 2, 2012 10:19 am

Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH[1]) has dropped AMC (NASDAQ:AMCX[2]) from its channel lineup.

The contract between the channel and the satellite TV service expired[3] over the weekend and the two companies could not come to an agreement over carrying fees, Reuters noted.

That leaves Dish subscribers who are fans of AMC hits like “The Walking Dead” and “Mad Men” in the cold.

Dish complained that AMC demanded excessive fees despite receiving relatively low ratings. AMC countered that its “The Walking Dead” series is one of the highest rated shows on cable.

AMC has indicated that it would like to raise its carrying fees to 75 cents per network subscriber within five years, almost a threefold increase over current fees.

AMC did hammer out a new contract with AT&T’s (NYSE:T[4]) U-verse on Sunday. U-verse has four million subscribers compared to Dish’s 14 million.

The dispute with Dish comes as AMC and its former owner, Cablevision (NYSE:CVC[5]), are suing Dish for $2.5 billion for breach of contract over VOOM HD, a set of high definition channels that Dish dropped from its system in 2008.

Analysts cited by┬áReuters said that while pressure on the satellite service would grow as the premiere date for the fifth season of AMC’s hit series “Breaking Bad” approached, Dish might be willing to engage in a long-term standoff with AMC. Dish’s chairman Charlie Ergen has been harshly critical about rising carrying fees.

Endnotes:
  1. DISH: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=DISH
  2. AMCX: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=AMCX
  3. contract between the channel and the satellite TV service expired: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/01/dish-amc-blackout-idUSL2E8I125C20120701
  4. T: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=T
  5. CVC: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=CVC

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