AMC – DISH dispute could leave fans meth lab-less, Don Draper-less

Taylor Bigler Entertainment Editor
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Do you like TV shows about meth-dealing chemistry teachers (“Breaking Bad”)? How about a show that harkens back to the good ol’ days of sexually harassing female coworkers and lunchtime highballs (“Mad Men”)? Or perhaps you prefer a drama set in a post-apocalyptic zombie world (“The Walking Dead”)?

If you watch one of these shows or any of the other critically acclaimed series on AMC, but also happen to be a DISH network subscriber, you could soon be — in a word — screwed.

An ongoing dispute between AMC and the satellite provider over a $2.8 billion breach of contract lawsuit could potentially end the relationship between the network and the satellite company, leaving millions of fans without their Roger Sterling, Walter White or favorite character of choice.

The rift between the cable network and the satellite provider goes back to a 2008 lawsuit in which AMC sued DISH for reneging on a contract to carry AMC’s high-definition Voom channels, Wired reported.

What does this have to do with DISH carrying AMC and its critically acclaimed shows? Absolutely nothing, according to AMC.

An AMC rep told Wired the only reason DISH is dropping the popular network is simply to punish it because of the pending litigation, which doesn’t go to court until September. It’s an odd move for DISH, since “The Walking Dead” is the provider’s highest-rated cable series.

DISH plans to drop AMC on June 30 when it hurts viewers the most — just 15 days before the long-awaited premiere of “Breaking Bad’s” final season.

In a last-ditch attempt to either change DISH’s mind or get fans to switch providers, AMC is broadcasting an Internet campaign called “Save the White House,” a play on the “Breaking Bad” main character’s last name.

AMC is also broadcasting ads in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colo., where DISH is based.

If DISH follows through, subscribers would also lose the Independent Film Channel and the Sundance channel.

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