Dish Network drops AMC from service

Posted July 02, 2012, at 5:32 a.m.

LOS ANGELES — Satellite broadcaster Dish Network dropped the cable channel AMC from its service as a feud between the programmer and distributor showed no signs of being resolved.

The dispute means that AMC has lost access to about 14 million homes just weeks before one of its most high-profile original shows — the drama “Breaking Bad” — is set to return. Dish has also dropped other channels owned by AMC parent AMC Networks Inc. including IFC, Sundance and WE TV. The current contract between the two companies expired June 30.

Dish has said it dropped AMC because the price to carry the channel was going up too high. The company has also expressed concern about AMC shows, including “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” being available on other services such as iTunes and Netflix soon after the shows have aired on AMC.

AMC disputes Dish’s reasons for dropping the channels and claims that the real reason has to do with a legal fight the two companies are engaged in. In 2008, AMC sued Dish for breach of contract regarding a distribution agreement.

“Dish customers have lost some of their favorite shows because of an unrelated lawsuit which has nothing at all to do with our programming,” AMC said in a statement, adding, “In fact, Dish has not discussed rates with us at all.”

AMC is also home to critically acclaimed dramas “The Walking Dead” and “The Killing.”

While such fights between programmers and distributors are not unusual, this one has been particularly nasty. Prior to AMC being removed from Dish’s service, the satellite broadcaster moved it to a different channel without any advance warning.

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©2012 Los Angeles Times

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