We’ve all heard of ‘Day of the Dead’ but for Dish Network customers today has officially become ‘Day of the NO Dead’. The satellite provider announced late yesterday that as of 11:59pm last night, AMC and its sister channels WE and IFC are no longer available on their service.
This huge move by Dish comes after months of bickering on the parts of both Dish and AMC. According to EW, the reasoning behind the argument depends on who you talk to. AMC insists that Dish was doing this because of a $2.5 billion lawsuit that an AMC subsidiary had filed against Dish. On the other hand, Dish claims that AMC was asking for a higher rate for their programming than their ratings dictated. But, no matter who’s actually at fault here, the loser is still the Dish Network customers.
AMC is home to three of the most popular shows on cable television at the moment, ‘Walking Dead’, ‘Mad Men’, and ‘Breaking Bad’. Now Dish viewers will have to turn to download pay-per-episode services like Amazon Instant or iTunes to watch their shows or switch to a different provider if they’re able.
AMC released an official statement on the subject:
It is unfortunate that, in retaliation for an unrelated lawsuit, DISH is punishing its customers by dropping AMC Networks. DISH customers can no longer watch popular, critically acclaimed series, including the July 15 season premiere of AMC’s Breaking Bad, and upcoming and future seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels and Mad Men.
What this decision will likely mean will come over the next few weeks as fans of AMC’s shows will be tested. Next weekend, AMC is airing a special “preview weekend” for season 3 of ‘The Walking Dead’ followed by the season premiere of ‘Breaking Bad’ the following week. I wonder how many Dish viewers will start jumping ship (if they haven’t already) or whether either AMC or Dish gives in and returns the channels to their spots on the lineup. Dish seems unconcerned as one of their reps merely stated: “There are some very popular programs on there, but we are looking at the big picture.”