Lately it seems that there is just as much drama behind cable networks and cable service providers as there are on the addictive TV series they are providing. AMC, the company behind “The Walking Dead” and “Mad Men” is letting cable providers know what’s at stake for crossing them. And because Dish Network could not reach an agreement with AMC, Dish customers could be out of luck before “Breaking Bad” begins its new season July 15th.
AT&T’s (News - Alert) U-Verse subscribers will get the AMC package because according to reports, AT&T has entered into a “long-term” contract with the cable network. AT&T has admitted that carrying AMC is a pricey endeavor; however, the network must have realized that the consequences of not offering these shows to their subscribers would be even more crucial for business.
Apparently, the prices are the reason why Dish is opting to forgo services with AMC. In a brash move, Dish replaced all of AMC’s channels on June 30th for charging more than Dish felt their services were worth. AMC, however, contends that Dish is still bitter over a litigation involving the two companies that stems back form 2008.
While Dish and AT&T seemingly have the luxury to decide what networks to offer their consumers, there are smaller companies that are not so fortunate. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) has been asked to reexamine how they define Multi-channel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD’s) so that smaller companies can have an opportunity to provide major networks to their subscribers.
Cable companies have been under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission for offering payment services that could be considered anti-competitive. People familiar with the matter believe that the tiered payment systems are strategic attempts by companies like Comcast (News - Alert) and Time Warner, to drive video streaming companies out of the market.
It seems that analysts’ predictions about the change in the future of television are manifesting daily.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman