AT&T U-Verse users in our forums are being informed by AT&T
that the company may drop AMC channels from their lineup if the company can't come to an agreement with AMC. With the success of programs like "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "The Walking Dead," AMC has decided to raise rates for their content substantially. The move resulted in Dish network recently dropping AMC channels from their lineup
, though Dish and AMC have been engaged in legal fights since Dish's 2008 dropping of Voom HD. Dish is expected to swap AMC programming with HDNet content starting this weekend.
"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," says AT&T.
According to AT&T AM, is asking AT&T to pay "what we believe" is nearly double what other competitors pay -- including at least one smaller TV competitor. "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," says AT&T.
By "costs down" AT&T of course means for them
, not necessarily for you. While AMC is
likely getting greedy, AT&T is, like many cable operators before them, trying to get their customers riled up by insisting they're looking out for your
best interests. Ignored, of course, is the fact that television rate hikes for consumers will continue regardless of which side wins these retransmission debates, resulting in customers simply getting programming black outs and public bickering for their steep monthly payments.
The frequency of these feuds and the number of resulting blackouts has created a stronger push for regulations imposing stricter rules on negotiations -- specifically rules that prohibit suddenly disconnecting content to paying customers. Companies like Dish have suggested that their refusal to pay more for AMC content is punishment for AMC being more generous than some networks when it comes to making their content available on streaming services like Netflix