AMC to stream Breaking Bad for blacked-out Dish users

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Viacom has one way of dealing with a carriage war, and AMC Networks has quite another.

AMC says it’ll stream the fifth-season premiere of its hit adult drama Breaking Bad on Sunday night for the nearly 14 million Dish Network subscribers who no longer receive its channels.

While AMC series are ubiquitous through over-the-top channels like Netflix, current-season episodes of the cable network’s shows typically aren’t available through streaming.

“AMC wants its loyal Dish viewers to experience the excitement of the Breaking Bad premiere at the same time as their friends and neighbors, and we want to give Dish customers an extra week to switch providers so they can enjoy the rest of the season,” reads an AMC statement issued Thursday.

(Note: AMC said nothing about paying the $175 early termination fee for any of those disgruntled Dish subscribers.)

Dish customers can visit www.amctv.com/breakingbad4dish starting at 3 p.m. ET Friday and authenticate their subscription for the stream, which begins Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.

Also read: AMC – “Dish never even talked rates with us”

AMC Networks channels, including not only the flagship AMC, but also the lifestyle-oriented WE TV and the movie-based IFC, were pulled off Dish July 1, coinciding with the expiration of a carriage deal. The satellite carrier claims AMC is seeking excessively high carriage rate increases to renew the contract. AMC says no negotiation of rates has even occurred — Dish’s decision, it contends, relates to a separate litigation between the two paries. (You can read all about that here.)

So how much anti-Dish messaging will AMC be conducting during this streaming presentation Sunday? An AMC press representative didn’t respond to our inquiry.

Also read: For Netflix users, “catch-up” TV viewing has a catch

But the strategy of making Sunday’s anticipated Breaking Bad debut available differs entirely from Viacom’s decision Wednesday to pull streaming availability for most of its current programs in the wake of its carriage dispute with DirecTV.

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