Cable hit Breaking Bad, which airs on the AMC Network, has entered its final run of episodes, which will finish up around this time next year. DISH Network subscribers, though, are not seeing it, or any of the other programming carried by AMC Networks, as the dispute between DISH and AMC continues on, and may hit the nine week mark here soon.
At first, it appeared the dispute was over the cost of programming, but now it is evident that it is entirely due to a legal battle between the two entities. DISH does not want to pay higher affiliate fees to AMC, and AMC does not want to lower its price, and DISH is seeking to create leverage in a $2.5 billion breach of contract lawsuit going to trial this fall that was first entered into the public record in 2008. What we have here is not a company seeking to keep its subscriber costs down; it’s a punitive attack on AMC, and the only people really losing out are DISH Network customers.
The good news for DISH subscribers is that there are other options. Even those who would not want to switch from satellite TV to cable television can go with DIRECTV, whose packages come not only with AMC but exclusively with NFL SUNDAY TICKET as well. After a delay, customers can also purchase episodes of shows like Breaking Bad on iTunes, staying out of the battle between the two companies altogether.
Earlier this month, DIRECTV and Viacom waged a similar war, but it was short-lived, with DIRECTV customers only losing Viacom channels for about a week. That shows that those two companies really were disputing rights fees and the cost of programming. DISH and AMC are not; this is a petulant fight between two major corporations that nobody is really going to win.