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AT&T, AMC Battle May Leave Customers Without 'Mad Men'

by Chris Jordan, posted Jul 12th 2010 8:00PM
Oh no, they're doing it again.

A TV carrier and a popular TV content provider are not seeing eye to eye when it comes to reimbursement rates and viewers might be left with a blank screen. This time it's the AT&T U-verse broadband service versus Rainbow Media, which operates AMC, WE tv and IFC.

In the balance is the season debut of the AMC hit 'Mad Men,' which airs July 25.

The two sides have been negotiating unsuccessfully for the past six months, according to a report on Deadline Hollywood. Their previous agreement expired July 1 and a new deadline is midnight, July 14.

"It is troubling that AT&T is threatening to yank AMC, WE tv and IFC, and leave their customers without the hottest show on television, AMC's 'Mad Men,' just before the premiere of the new season,'' Rainbow Media said in a press release. "AT&T is acting in an aggressive manner that puts their corporate interests ahead of their customers.''

AT&T feels differently.

"Based on aggregate data we obtained from third party industry sources and our own subscribers, some of the Rainbow channels are among the least-watched and most overpriced per viewer compared to other major programming providers,'' AT&T spokeswoman told Deadline Hollywood. "They're also trying to force the renegotiation of a contract for one of their other channels that is not yet expired and force us to carry a new channel that wasn't even formally presented to us until after the recent July 1 contract extension. We want our customers to know that we can't and won't give in to unreasonable deals that unfairly disadvantage our customers.''

The he said-she said posturing of AT&T and Rainbow, a subsidiary of Cablevision, is nearly identical to the recent brush ups between Cablevision and Scripps Networks Interactive, the company behind the Food Network and HGTV, and Time Warner Cable and Fox in January. The latter disagreement did not result in the loss of programming for subscribers in the East but the former did result in a three-week loss of the Scripps channels by Cablevision's Northeast subscribers. In March, ABC and Cablevision went head-to-head, resulting in the lost of a portion of the Academy Awards broadcast.

U-verse is available in 22 states.

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Michael Wilkins

Drop AMC are you kidding? Oh well if you have to then drop them. It is their loss not the viewer.
I have over 450 channels to look at, losing one won't be missed.

July 14 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll just DL the torrent if AT&T and Rainbow can't work this out.

July 13 2010 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

AT&T is right. Mad Men, a show I personally can't stand, might be a critical and Emmy darling but very few people actually watch it. Why pay more for something that won't entice people to subscribe to your service?

July 12 2010 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No mention in this article that Cablevision, the same system that fought with ABC, is the owner of Rainbow Media, and AMC.

Whether its fighting broadcast network or video systems that are not cable, Cablevision is always putting up a fight.

July 12 2010 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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