AMC Networks has called on US cable provider AT&T to reach a “fair agreement” in carriage negotiation as the possibility of a black-out grows.
The two companies are currently in talks to renew AMC’s carriage deal, though AT&T has threatened to drop the portfolio of channels over its “excessive rate increase.”
The broadcaster’s contract with AT&T’s U-verse service, which carries cable networks AMC, IFC and WE TV, expires at midnight on June 30.
However, AMC has moved to justify its fee demands by highlighting the “value” its original programming brings to cable operators like AT&T. That programming includes Mad Men, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.
In a statement, the company said: “We are disappointed that, just days before the July 15 season premiere of AMC’s Breaking Bad, we have not yet reached an agreement with AT&T that adequately reflects the popularity of our programming and AMC’s position as a top tier network with acclaimed shows like The Walking Dead, basic cable’s highest-rated scripted drama series.
“We have been consistently supportive partners of AT&T and are proud that our investment in original programming has provided so much value to all of our distribution partners. We hope AT&T will recognise this and quickly reach a fair agreement with us, so their viewers don’t lose out.”
AMC is also facing the possibility of being dropped by a second pay-TV platform, Dish Networks, in a separate and unrelated dispute, which the satcaster claims is also due to excessive fees. AMC’s current contract with Dish also expires on June 30.