The Dish & AMC Battle

AMC Networks LogoIn case you haven’t heard, cable station AMC and cable provider DISH are in a bitter battle these days.  Naturally, there are two sides to any story.  Here’s the “real story” according to AMC from their site http://www.keepamcnetworks.com

THE REAL REASON DISH IS DROPPING AMC NETWORKS…

In a ruling filed on Thursday, April 26, 2012, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court denied DISH’s application to further appeal a prior trial court decision sanctioning it for bad-faith destruction of evidence in the ongoing VOOM HD/DISH litigation. The case has now been set for a trial beginning September 18th..

The case began in 2008, when VOOM HD (an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks) sued DISH Network for breach of contract. The case concerns a contract in which DISH agreed to carry a suite of HD networks known as VOOM for 15 years. In early 2008, DISH improperly terminated the VOOM contract, and VOOM HD filed suit, seeking over $2.5 billion in damages.

In a pre-trial ruling, the trial court judge ruled that DISH had destroyed evidence in the case, citing DISH’s “pattern of egregious conduct and questionable – and, at times, blatantly improper – litigation tactics.” The Appellate Division recently affirmed the trial court ruling, writing that DISH “acted in bad faith in destroying electronically stored evidence.” And on April 26, 2012, the Appellate Division denied DISH leave to further appeal the decision The trial court has now set the trial date.

Within days of the denial of DISH’s final avenue of pre-trial appeal, DISH informed AMC Networks of its intention to drop its award-winning networks.

In response to DISH’s decision, AMC Networks released the following statement: “AMC Networks has some of the most acclaimed programming on television, with shows like “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad.” In fact, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is the number one scripted drama with DISH subscribers.*

It is unfortunate that, because of setbacks in an unrelated litigation, DISH even suggests that they might deny their customers access to some of their favorite networks and shows that are offered by every other major satellite and cable TV provider.”

*Source: Nielsen Media Research 4Q11-1Q12 A18-49 (000) Dish Universe

Now keep in mind that one of my favorite shows on TV is The Walking Dead.  When we switched to Windstream / Dish last year, we went with a package that didn’t include AMC.  That kind of sucked, but honestly I couldn’t justify the additional cost.  However, when I realized that I also didn’t have Sports Time Ohio (STO) and I wouldn’t be able to watch my Indians… well I had to draw the line.

Naturally, the first day I clicked over to watch AMC, I started seeing a scroll that Dish was dropping AMC… FUCK ME.  Of course this pissed me off something fierce, so I took AMC’s urging and contacted my provider with this email:

Dear DISH,

I recently switched from Time Warner to Windstream/Dish. I will CERTAINLY switch back if AMC is dropped from my channel lineup.

Thank you,

Chewie

As I said before, there are two sides to every story.  A couple of days after I sent that email, I got this in response:

Dear Valued DISH customer,

Thank you for your e-mail. We value your business and the opportunity to discuss this situation with you.

It’s in our DNA to provide the best programming to our customers at the best value possible.  That’s our first priority and it guides how we run the business.  As we keep customers first, we’re constantly making evaluations on the value various channels bring to the DISH family.

AMC Networks requires us to provide and pay for channels beyond AMC, including WE tv and IFC which, as a whole, do not deliver value to our customer base for the price demanded.  Providing value to our customers is at the core of our business.  We are the only Pay TV provider to not have raised your programming prices this year and as a result, we cannot ask our customers to pay more for this extraneous programming.

We regret that AMC Networks has chosen to involve viewers at this time.  Our contract does not allow us to go into further details, however, we remain hopeful that we can find a resolution that brings AMC’s networks at a value they’ve come to expect.

Please keep in mind that you are still able to watch programming on AMC (ch 9609 – SD/9610 – HD), IFC (ch. 9607), and WE tv (ch.9608), and you will still be able to view the season finale of Mad Men on Sunday, June 10th, and the finale of The Killing Part 1 on Sunday, June 10th and Part 2 on Sunday, June 17th.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,
DISH

So honestly, at this point, I have no idea who to believe.  I’m hoping this is all just about money and they’ll get this shit figured out at the 11th hour and I’ll get to continue watching AMC.  Time will tell.

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6 Comments

  1. We lost our local ABC affiliate for 6 months and missed the end of Lost due to one of these contract disputes. It’s very real AMC might go away for a while.

  2. I do not get local channels with dish and if they take AMC off the lineup then I will switch. Granted the only other choice for my area is Direct TV but I am willing to go that route. I called Dish and complained that I could lose AMC and they gave us a promotional 3 months free of Blockbuster. Again if they take AMC, that wont be enough to keep me with Dish..

    • I’m HOPING that AMC has done enough with their “Keep AMC” campaign to push DISH’s hand and make them settle this with no interruption of service. It’ll get REAL bad if they don’t…

  3. So it turns out that I did in fact lose Dish… mother fuckers. No Walking Dead, no Man Men, no Breaking Bad. Netflix here I come.

  4. As luck would have it, I recently received an email from DISH Network that I was getting back AMC!!! https://www.406northlane.com/blog/2012/10/a-surprising-but-welcome-email-amc-is-back-on-dish/

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