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Dish Network Picks a Fight With Zombies, Meth Dealers

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THE BALKING DEAD
DailyFeed

AMC Networks (AMCX) is in danger of Dish Network (DISH) dropping them from its service.

According to Dish Network, the channels are a little too expensive to carry for what the network considers low viewership. They plan on dropping all AMC Network channels by the end of June, including IFC and WE tv.

The two have clashed previously in 2008, when AMC filed a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against the carrier for allegedly breaking an agreement to carry AMC Networks’ Voom HD channels.  

As the September 18 trial date approaches, Dish has ramped up its attacks on the network of channels. It dropped Sundance altogether on May 20 and dumped the remaining AMC channels into the 9000 level in its programming guide shortly thereafter.

This means that viewers of Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad will be left in the dark as the fight continues. With Breaking Bad’s last season starting on July 15, it looks like Dish is using a little brinkmanship with AMC.

This is not the first time Dish Network has had a spat with the networks it carries. In the fall of 2010, Dish and Fox (NWS) fought over carriage fees in the Midwest and on the West Coast. As a result, Fox pulled the signals for FX, Fox Sports regional channels, and the National Geographic Channel. The two parties did eventually resolve their disagreement with a new multi-year contract that garnered larger payments for all Fox channels.

Dish is also involved in disputes at a local level. Hoak Media, a Dallas based company and owner of 14 television stations, won’t allow Dish to carry its signals anymore. Hoak claims its decision was made because of Dish’s advertisement-skipping AutoHop DVR. Dish claims Hoak wants a 200% rate increase for its channels and the elimination of the AutoHop.

Dish is also currently engaged in multiple lawsuits with several major networks over the use and legality of their advertisement-skipping AutoHop DVR.

If there’s anything to take away from all this, it’s that Dish is always ready to throw down, and viewers will continue relying on Netflix (NFLX), Apple TV (AAPL) and YouTube (GOOG) for home entertainment free of squabbling between megacorporations.

Well, somewhat free.

(See also: Can Apple Save Us From This 'Web TV' Nightmare?)
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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