AMC makes deal with AT&T, but still shut off by Dish
BY EMILY MORRIS Staff Reporter July 2, 2012 11:58AM
Zombies on The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC - DSC_0111phgn_R_Ph_Gene_Page
Updated: August 4, 2012 6:17AM
The fight between Dish Network TV and AMC Networks means some fans of such shows as “The Walking Dead,” “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” will have to find something else to watch.
While Dish subscribers might bemoan the loss, AT&T U-verse customers get to watch their favorite AMC shows after a last-minute deal was worked out between the two companies over “fair distribution” on Sunday, according to AT&T.
Dish Network TV has about 14 million satellite TV customers, while AT&T’s U-verse has about 4 million customers.
Dish said it dropped AMC last weekend because of the special cable company’s “high costs compared to their relatively low viewership,” and that it notified AMC of its reasons earlier this year, the company said in a press release.
AMC said Dish cut the networks because of an “unrelated lawsuit,” and that the action could not have been over ratings or rates. According to AMC, Dish has not discussed rates with the company.
The “unrelated lawsuit” refers to an ongoing feud between AMC and Dish over an alleged breach of contract. AMC subsidiary Voom HD sued Dish in 2008, seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages.
Dish is also busy working out a separate dispute with CBS, NBC and Fox over an ad-skipping feature offered to Dish subscribers that blacks out ads during recorded programs. The case, in which the broadcast companies sued Dish over its AutoHop program, is scheduled to appear in a New York court on Monday.
Trendy zombie apocalypse show “The Walking Dead” is AMC’s highest rated program, according to the company. In March, the season finale of the show broke its own basic cable record with about 9 million viewers tuning in.
Dish’s drop of AMC comes just before the season three preview of “The Walking Dead” this weekend and the season five premiere of “Breaking Bad” on July 15.