US cablenet AMC has reached a new carriage deal with IPTV provider AT&T, while satellite platform Dish Networks has replaced AMC’s channels after the two failed to agree contract terms.
Telecoms giant AT&T said yesterday it has reached a “fair distribution agreement with AMC Networks” that will keep its AMC, IFC, Sundance and WE TV channels available on AT&T’s U-Verse TV service.
The new deal comes just days after AT&T threatened to drop AMC’s portfolio of channels over its “excessive rate increase,” ahead of the previous contract’s June 30 expiry date.
“It was important to us on behalf of our U-verse TV customers to come to a positive resolution as quickly as possible. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to make that happen, working diligently over the weekend, so customers can continue to enjoy the programming they love on U-verse,” said Jeff Weber, AT&T’s president of content and ad sales.
AMC said the long-term deal with AT&T “appropriately recognises” the value of its networks and programming, and accused Dish of failing to negotiate terms in the same way.
“Dish has not discussed rates with us at all. Dish customers have lost some of their favourite shows because of an unrelated lawsuit that has nothing at all to do with our programming,” AMC said in a statement, referring to a legal tussle that dates back to 2008 and relates to an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks called Voom HD.
However, Dish maintains that its decision not renew its contract with AMC is due to the “channels’ high costs compared to their relatively low viewership.”
“AMC Networks requires us to carry low-rated channels like IFC and WE to access a few popular AMC shows. The math is simple: it’s not a good value for our customers,” said Dish’s senior VP of programming Dave Shull in a statement on Friday.
Dish added that AMC had “further devalued its programming” by making its popular shows available on online services such as iTunes, Netflix and Amazon.
Over the weekend, Dish replaced three AMC Networks channels – IFC, WE and AMC – with different movie and entertainment channels after its contract lapsed. HDNet Movies replaces AMC, while Style and HDNet replace WE and IFC.