Walking Dead walks just fine without Dish


AMC NetworksThere are 14M Dish subscribers out there with no access to AMC and its popular Walking Dead series. Nevertheless, the show’s initial episode for the 2012-2013 season has become the one to beat for all broadcast and cable programs on an 18-49 ratings basis.

Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente reported that the program debuted with a 5.8/13 18-49 performance – making it the highest premiere of any broadcast or cable title. Those numbers were based on 10.9M viewers, nearly 2M more than were on hand for the program’s final episode of the 2011-2012 season.

This despite it lack of access to Dish customers, who are not getting AMC due to the failure of the two companies to come to retransmission terms.

Elsewhere, DiClemente noted that professional football in prime time is bolstering NBC, while NFL overruns into prime time on Sundays is also helping Fox. Also benefitting from sports programming is TBS, which has been airing Major League Baseball playoff action.

RBR-TVBR observation: How much longer will it be before you need to study a channel lineup before selecting an MVPD service?

It used to seem like most MVPDs had pretty much the same programming, and the decision to go with one or another was based on other factors – pricing, tier structure, availability, that sort of thing.

Now it seems that the momentum is shifting toward different program lineups on different MVPDs based on business dealings with programmers; further, recent FCC actions suggest that it will be more difficult for some MVPDs to gain access to programming belonging to their competitors.

And underlying it all is our sneaking suspicion that at some point the call for a la carte program purchasing is going to be too loud to ignore.
Stay tuned.