AMC playing hardball with DISH, AT&T


AMC NetworksBasic cable provider AMC was warning its fans that its channels are about to disappear from AT&T MVPD systems — but that has been averted. Meanwhile, DISH is replacing AMC fare with a high-definition movie service.

AT&T has slammed AMC, saying it wants an excessive rate increase. DISH concurs, adding that it is also requesting carriage of its weaker sister channels, including IFC and WE.

UPDATE: AMC and AT&T have arrived at an agreement. In a statement, AMC said it respected AT&T as a business partner. It also pointedly noted that although it has generally been able to negotiate a fair carriage fee wiht distributos, it has been dropped by DISH without any negotiations over rates..

DISH made its decision to drop AMC some time ago and is now announcing replacement programming. “HDNet Movies and HDNet are exciting offerings for our customers,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for DISH. “These are networks that will bring great entertainment, including first-run, commercial-free movies in high definition to our customers. DISH is the only pay-TV provider that did not raise its core package prices in 2012. We will continue to fight hard for choice, control, and value in home entertainment.”

The AMC/AT&T contract expires 7/1/12. AT&T stated, “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.”

AMC is telling customers to contact AT&T and urge it to keep its channels. It is also providing information about alternative sources of AMC channels.