Small cable operators are dropping AMC Networks despite a carriage renewal deal carved out earlier this month with their buying cooperative, the NCTC.
Alaska cable operator General Communications Inc. (GCI) said it will not carry AMC Networks or Univision in 2016 because of "substantial" hikes in carriage fees for the two networks. The company also is offering its TiVo customers a $50 Visa gift card to encourage them to find AMC content via other alternatives such Vudu and Netflix.
Firing the latest salvo in the NCTC's carriage battle with AMC Networks, Cincinnati Bell CEO Ted Torbeck said that giving into the programmer's demands would result in a 3 percent spike in pay-TV fees for his MSO's customers, whether or not they watch The Walking Dead.
Calling the carriage dispute between NCTC and AMC Networks a symptom of a "broken" video marketplace, the American Cable Association has collected 228 member signatures on a letter asking the FCC to intervene in the process.
Adding a new wrinkle of complexity to carriage negotiations, AMC Networks is demanding that NCTC member cable companies pay licensing fees based on their total subscriber base, not just the customers who subscribe to AMC channels.
Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) is the latest NCTC member company to pipe up about stalled carriage renewal talks with AMC Networks, accusing the programmer of seeking an excessive 379 percent fee increase over its current contract.
With linear TV ratings dropping another 9 percent in the second quarter, major cable networks now appear to be stuffing as many as 10 percent more commercials into every hour of programming to sustain their margins.
ASPEN, Colo.--Cable subscribers who are looking for ways to shrink their cable subscription package--dubbed "cord shavers"--should be a much bigger concern for traditional pay-TV operators than cord cutters, according to a panel of experts speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference here.
Sony has announced a major programming acquisition for PlayStation Vue, adding AMC Channels to its new over-the-top pay-TV service. The network will be added to Vue's basic $50-a-month bundle just in time for the sure-to-be-highly-rated season-five finale of original series The Walking Dead, as well as the final season of Mad Men. WEtv will also be added to the basic channel lineup.
Dish Network made a series of moves Tuesday that are bound to please its multiscreen enthusiast customers.