Do you have DISH? Then you haven’t seen these shows on it: • Breaking Bad • Mad Men • The Walking Dead
Blame these guys: Networks realize that cable TV is dependent upon them to get viewers the shows they wish to watch; this is why people buy cable, aGer all. If cable companies don’t deliver, networks don’t show on that company. ESPN was the ﬁrst to withhold. Today, the baMle is between DISH and AMC.
14 million DISH subscribers can’t see anything AMC. Obviously, DISH is the zombie and AMC and it’s viewers are, collecQvely, Rick Grimes with a liMle Don Draper and all the best parts of Walter White combined into one.
AMC has encouraged DISH subscribers to embrace social networking. Looking for a laugh? Do a search on YouTube for “Hey DISH! Where’s my AMC?” This was a campaign by AMC which allowed viewers to create videos and vote on them. Not only did this allow people to air their frustraQon, it also got people involved who previously weren’t.
Well, the proposal might not actually be indecent in a strict sense of the word: it’s just that AMC is encouraging subscribers of compeQng services to invite their friends and family over who have DISH to watch AMC shows. This not only encourages network disloyalty, but the ad uses shows that people love in order to paint DISH execuQves as greedy. Don Draper would be proud.
Straight from the horse’s mouth, this was an email sent from DISH to Content Equals Money Founder, Amie Marse: “We understand your concern about AMC. The channels AMC Networks forces us to deliver — WE, IFC and AMC — do not give our customers the best content at the best value. We have permanently removed them from the DISH line up as of June 30. We have remained in contact with AMC throughout this situaQon. Should AMC choose to change their posiQon, we remain open to a proposal that would resolve this issue. AMC Networks has further devalued its programming by making its handful of popular shows available to consumers via iTunes, Neclix and Amazon.com. This means that AMC Networks wants us to pay many millions of dollars for content that is available to our subscribers the next day for just a couple of dollars.”
Issues with this email: 1. AMC doesn’t force DISH to do anything. 2. Apparently bundling partner networks (WE and IFC) devalues the content? 3. Making media available through means other than tradiQonal television delivery (i.e., Neclix, iTunes) devalues it?
Obviously, DISH wishes to make a proﬁt oﬀ its services, and even the most unsympatheQc internet pirate could probably see why they would want to make a proﬁt. That being said, it’s sQll zombies in the barn. The idea comes from a good place, but is poorly executed, sounds whiny, and doesn’t make sense.
The results of the debate? The easiest metric would be numbers of subscribers, but it’s misleading; like other content providers, DISH charges an early terminaQon fee, and most aren’t willing to pay $17.50 a month for early contract terminaQon. However, Sam Thielman at Adweek has reported that there has been a small drop in subscripQons, but certainly no mass exodus.
The real metric would be social media. To get the pulse on the situaQon, check out what TwiMer’s saying or what your friends are wriQng on their Facebook status walls. Either way, it’s undeniable that AMC has successfully harnessed the power of social media to push against DISH, and push hard.
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