AT&T U-Verse may drop AMC channels in carriage dispute
BY RITA SHERROW World Television Editor
Thursday, June 28, 2012
AMC extending its carriage dispute to include a second provider.
The cable channel, formerly known as American Movie Channel, may also be dropped from AT&T U-Verse later this month, according to deadline.com.
Due to a carriage dispute with Dish Network, earlier this month the channel was moved from 130 to 9609. Dish has already announced it will drop the channel unless negotiations over carriage fees are resolved. Their current agreement expires Saturday.
On Wednesday, AMC issued a statement about its newest carriage fight, this time with AT&T.
“We are disappointed that, just days before the July 15 season premiere of AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ we have not yet reached an agreement with AT&T that adequately reflects the popularity of our programming and AMC’s position as a top tier network with acclaimed shows like ‘The Walking Dead,’ basic cable’s highest-rated scripted drama series.
“We have been consistently supportive partners of AT&T and are proud that our investment in original programming has provided so much value to all of our distribution partners. We hope AT&T will recognize this and quickly reach a fair agreement with us, so their viewers don’t lose out.”
AT&T’s statement said that AMC Networks’ AMC, IFC and We tv may go dark on its U-verse platform unless the two companies can resolve the dispute, reported the website.
Here is AT&T’s statement:
“We are making every effort to reach a fair agreement and continue providing these channels to our customers. Frankly, we’re disappointed AMC Networks has decided to take its negotiations public, instead of working with us in good faith, especially since we’re still actively in negotiations.
“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations to renew this agreement, but AMC Networks is seeking an excessive rate increase in our overall fees for the right to deliver these channels.
AMC Networks is asking that AT&T pay nearly double what we believe other competitors pay - including a smaller-sized competitor. We believe the rates they are seeking are disproportionate compared to the viewership we see across their channels.
“We don’t think that’s reasonable, especially in these economic times, and we will continue to work toward a fair deal.
“There’s an ongoing industry trend in which an increasing number of content providers seek unreasonable price increases from their service providers as those contracts expire.
If we accept this cost increase from AMC Networks, it could result in higher prices for customers, and would only encourage other content providers to make similar demands. We don’t want customers to lose these channels, but we need to take a stand now to keep costs down while continuing to provide the quality programming customers want and deserve.”
Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul,left) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) star in “Breaking Bad” returning for its new season July 15 on AMC.