AMC and satellite TV provider DISH Network continue their dispute, with DISH Network subscribers now having lost AMC and its related channels for more than 40 days. While recent disputes between DIRECTV and Viacom were resolved within a matter of days, it seems there is no end in sight for the dispute between DISH Network and AMC, not just because of the money and lawsuits involved, but because the chairman and co-founder of DISH Network, Charlie Ergen, doesn’t seem to want to make the deal happen.
According to the website TV Geek Army, Ergen has said that AMC shows are “critically acclaimed. But not viewed as much by our audience. And our customers can go to iTunes and get ‘Mad Men’ the same time it’s on.” That could just be negotiating in public, but that doesn’t sound like the words of someone who’s in a hurry to get a deal done. While it is true that customers of DISH Network can get episodes of Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead from iTunes, that means paying for the programming in addition to what they already pay for the satellite TV service.
Ergen also seems to be underestimating his audience. It is true that Breaking Bad and Mad Men are more critically acclaimed, cult shows than they are popular, but Breaking Bad especially has grown its audience through word of mouth and DVD to gain a larger audience each year it’s been on, something that isn’t always true with a serialized show. Moreover, The Walking Dead has been one of basic cable’s biggest breakout hits in the past few years; surely DISH Network audiences were among some of those who made it one of cable TV’s most popular shows.
AMC Networks are available on the other major satellite TV and cable TV providers, such as DIRECTV and Charter Communications. Fans of some of the best shows on TV should strongly consider the switch.