DirecTV subscribers lose AMC

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the hit

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the hit AMC TV series ?Mad Men.? DirecTV subscribers are losing channels in a contract dispute with Viacom. AMC is among the 26 channels that went dark. Photo Credit: AMC

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AMC Networks, which carries "Breaking Bad," "The Walking Dead," "Mad Men" and other popular television shows, was removed from Dish Network Sunday after its contract with the satellite TV company expired without a new agreement.

Dish, the second-largest satellite TV provider behind DirectTV, said it dropped New York-based AMC because it was charging fees that were too high for the low-rated channel.

AMC's contract also expired with AT&T on Saturday, but negotiations between the parties continue and AMC channels are being carried on AT&T, the companies said Sunday.

If the companies do not strike a new deal soon, Dish Network and AT&T's U-verse customers may miss the July 15, fifth-season debut of "Breaking Bad."

AMC said in a news release that DISH has refused to discuss rates and could not have dropped the satellite company because of low ratings. "The Walking Dead" is the highest-rated scripted drama on cable, it said.

Dish has said that big rate increases are not merited, in part because many of AMC's programs are available on the Internet.

AMC executives have said they want to triple the fees charged to carriers to 75 cents per subscriber over the next four to five years. It now charges 26 cents per subscriber per month. -- Reuters

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