AMC Networks’ portfolio of channels could be dropped from a second US platform after AT&T slammed its demands for an “excessive rate increase.”
AMC’s contract with AT&T’s U-verse service, which carries AMC, IFC and WE TV, is due to expire at midnight on June 30.
And while the IPTV provider said it is making “every effort” to reach agreement on a new deal, it is so far unwilling to meet the “unreasonable” prices AMC is demanding to continue carrying its channels.
“We’ve been in ongoing negotiations to renew this agreement, but AMC Networks is seeking an excessive rate increase in our overall fees for the right to deliver these channels,” AT&T said in a statement.
“AMC Networks is asking that AT&T pay nearly double what we believe other competitors pay, including a smaller-sized competitor. We believe the rates they are seeking are disproportionate compared with the viewership we see across their channels.”
AT&T also moved to highlight an “ongoing industry trend” where content providers are seeking inflated price increases as their existing contracts expire.
“If we accept this cost increase from AMC Networks, it could result in higher prices for customers, and would only encourage other content providers to make similar demands,” the statement added.
“We don’t want customers to lose these channels, but we need to take a stand now to keep costs down while continuing to provide the quality programming customers want and deserve.”
AMC is already in dispute with another cable platform, Dish Networks, with which its contract also expires on June 30.
Dish has already bumped AMC’s channels down the EPG, and has also cited AMC’s high renewal costs as the reason for the contract stand-off.
In its first-quarter financial report published last month, AMC Networks warned its future profits may be hit by Dish’s intention to drop its channels.