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AMC: “Dish never even talked rates with us”

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Thought: Maybe AMC Networks (s AMCX) shouldn’t have waited until Dish Network (s DISH) actually pulled its channels off its service to take this punch.

But punch the cable programmer did just after midnight Eastern time, releasing a statement that doesn’t beat around the bush. The upshot: AMC Networks claims Dish’s decision to end carriage of AMC, IFC and WE TV has little to do with proposed carriage-rate increases and everything to do with an ongoing $2.5 billion breach-of-contract suit currently standing between the two companies.

Also read: Dish to replace AMC with Mark Cuban’s HDNet Movies

“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 AMC statement reads. “Dish customers will not be able to watch the new season of AMC’s Breaking Bad, premiering July 15, or upcoming seasons of The Walking Dead, Mad Men, or any of our other popular shows. We urge Dish customers who want to have access to our programming to call 1-855-KEEP-AMC or visit”

In the same statement, AMC indicated that carriage talks continue with AT&T over carriage on U-Verse. Like Dish, the current agreement expires at midnight. But unlike Dish, there’s no indication that there’s any impasse beyond fee increases. And so far, there hasn’t been any U-Verse blackout of AMC.

Also read: Dish, America’s most over-the-top cable network, faces carriage crisis

Dish’s removal of AMC channels deprives the programmer of 14 million satellite homes — and the income from licensing fees that comes with them.

Dish, in its own statement Friday, said that AMC’s flagship channel doesn’t carry enough ratings weight with its subscribers to justify also paying for IFC and WE TV. (I don’t know about that. Mad Men is known to draw an elite but numerically finite audience. But as an AMC spokesperson reminded me Thursday, the season premiere of The Walking Dead set a basic cable ratings record in October with 11 million watchers.)

Dish also claims AMC has “devalued” its shows by letting them be streamed on over-the-top services like Netflix.

Another thought: Fox Networks also lets FX hits like Sons of Anarchy stream on Netflix. But 15 months ago, not only was it able to carve out its own carriage agreement for FX and various regional sports channels with Dish, it got the satellite service to also carry the lightly viewed National Geographic Channel.

Then again, News Corp. (s NEWS) wasn’t suing Englewood, Colo. satellite company at the time.

Update: AT&T U-Verse and AMC announced a long-term deal Sunday, providing another option for some Dish customers who may choose to bolt over the program loss.

11 Responses to “AMC: “Dish never even talked rates with us””

  1. It really sucks that Dish went ahead and dropped the three channels even though they clearly had a universal negative reaction to their decision to dropping them.

  2. Kevin Yea

    DISH is reacting to the lawsuit… nothing more. They are like the spoiled child on the play ground, if you won’t let me win, I’ll take my ball home. Do what I did, switch to DirecTV. I never would have bothered – until DISH gave me a good reason to. Tell DISH “Thanks, but no thanks.”

  3. jrhmobile

    So, Dan. You want to let us in on what the $2.5 billion breach of contract suit is about? Seems like that would be relevant to the story above …

  4. torrentsrule

    The four highest rated shows on AMC: Mad Men (13 episodes), Breaking Bad (8 episodes), The Walking Dead (13 episodes) and The Killing (13 episodes) don’t even add up to 1 hour a week of original programming per year. Glad to see Dish take a stand against the ballooning fees demanded by content providers.

  5. Sherry Jones

    I’m a Dish Network HD person… Dish NetWork come one have it in your bigger plans like the 250 Channel Pack to balance the cost.. Matter of fact Dishnetwork where is our The Disney Junior Channel, Disney XD in ND, Disney Channel in HD. Over thousands of Dish network Customers have ask you for the new Disney Junior Channel & AMC Channel. I’m sorry you’all Dishnetwork is cheap.. Everyone has asked about the new Disney Junior Channel but never seen it yet. If you need more money for it just add it to the 250 Channel pack. Is Comcast the only one the has Disney Junior Channel.

    You can make a comment on Dish Network Facebook page or send a letter to them about the AMC Channel, & Disney Jr Channel

    IWe have not seen it at all.. For me I love TCM Channel I wish it had 2 TCM Channels like a East & West TCM Channel.. To me the Classic come on one time only.. Dang! I wish for a East & West TCM Channel. I Love AMC Channel & Classics.. (Too Many Commercials, I wish it was like TCM Channel).

    We need the Create Channel (PBS Channel) on Dish Network..
    I have requested on Facebook at the same time I asked for the Disney Jr. Channel, & AMC, ILC Channels…

  6. Whalen

    AMC & DISH are not the ones paying for anything, the customers are. And now we are paying for nothing! Of course, it’s the same old story, they take our money and screw us on what we pay for!

  7. Dail Whiteley

    dish’s fight should be with netflix. it should be with itunes , amazon and vudu that well have shows up the next day for like 1.99 or 2.99 for HD. but in the end its the lawsuit. i have a feeling dish will egg on their face when its settled.

  8. (Dish also claims AMC has “devalued” its shows by letting them be streamed on over-the-top services like Netflix.)
    Oh, I see a montrous fight with this. I think Netflix might destroy dish though, all it has to do is have a streamer like Dish. Dish would be destroyed, Netflix requires no equipment you don’t already own and they can stream the tv shows across the internet. They can also put the tv separate like they have the streamed dvd’s and episodes but raise the price of one because one gets the newest show.

  9. Will Henderson

    don’t expect these channels back on dish with in the next 2 months, with the Disney dispute (lawsuit related too like AMC Networks), these channels won’t be coming back to Dish until they win the case.

  10. Darrin Carmichael

    I’m very upset that dish network decided to discontinue the cable channels as of midnight July 01, 2012 and I’m considering canceling my subscription to the cable Network and I’m looking into alternative cable network companies.