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Is Dish Network Dropping AMC Good for Consumers?

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ABC has a new editorial up this week that advocates such a position. The piece, Why DISH Dropping AMC May Be Good for Consumers, advocates calling Dish to “try to negotiate either a special deal or more add-on channels, such as six months of free HBO or another service” as a result of the missing channels, despite the fact that, as the story points out later, Dish has added HDNet, HDNet Movies, and Style to make up for the loss of AMC, IFC, and WE.

One very interesting quote from the piece is this:

In a Consumer Reports survey, 40 percent of customers who bargained with their cable and Internet providers received savings of up to $50 a month, such as a waiver of installation and activation fees and free premium channels.

So hey, maybe it’s worth a shot as a bargaining child if you have alternative providers in your area.

One thing from the story that I really don’t get is this:

DISH said AMC Networks required it to provide “low-rated channels like IFC and WE to access a few popular AMC shows.” The satellite provider said AMC also “further devalued” its programming by making its handful of popular shows available to consumers via iTunes, Netflix and Amazon.com.

Which emphasizes the point I’ve made that both AMC and Dish have acted immaturely in this whole brouhaha. Plenty of cable channels offer their most popular shows via digital avenues, and I don’t see Dish holding it against the rest of them. That’s just the world we live in.

At any rate, if you were holding out hope that Dish and AMC would resolve their differences and keep all the brain-eat, meth-cooking, and sexy ’60s drama on one of the US’s largest television providers, it looks like all hope is lost. AMC is gone — after being banished for weeks to the nether-regions of Dish’s dial — and at this point I don’t expect it to come back.

And despite the fact that Dish prides itself on the fact that it doesn’t constantly hike its rates — a huge point, and one for which I give Dish huge props — the loss of The Walking Dead on Dish means fans now have to spend $2.99 per episode to keep current with the show. Which, when you look at it that way, is a nearly $40 de facto price hike of sorts for many viewers. It’s an elective one, sure. But I can’t imagine that the price hike Dish would have had to pass along to its subscribers to keep AMC on the air would have been nearly that much in a year.

So, Dish subscribing AMC fans, I ask you this: would you have been willing to accept a higher monthly fee to keep AMC on the air? Or are you glad Dish stood its ground to keep rates from escalating? And do you have any intention of using this as a bargaining chip with Dish?

Via: [ABC]

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