If you’ve ever “liked” Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead or The Killing (yeah right), chances are you’ve received some version of the “Tell Dish Network to keep AMC!” message this summer.
That’s because Dish refused to agree to AMC’s supposedly unreasonable demands for a contract extension, effectively forcing a blackout of the channel and related properties (IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel) for all subscribers. Note: AMC still claims that an unrelated lawsuit stretching way back to 2008 is the real culprit.
AMC fired the first PR shots in the battle earlier this summer by organizing a related messaging push, encouraging fans to complain on Facebook and streaming new episodes of top shows on their site; a series of predictable potshots ensued. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen took the rhetoric to a new level this week by suggesting that fans should just ignore AMC’s call to arms and “go to iTunes” for the latest episodes of their faves. He even went a step further, noting that AMC’s premium programs are “critically acclaimed but not viewed as much by our audience.”
Yeah, that’s what we call “damning with faint praise.”
In other mud-in-your-eye news, AMC just released a higher-than-expected quarterly revenue report, all while (we assume) lip-syncing “I Will Survive.” The corporate playground scuffle continues with no end in sight, and millions of paying subscribers still can’t watch their favorite dramas live.
Who comes out looking worse in this scenario? Is AMC really just a bad investment for Dish, or is there something more complex/nefarious going on?