Blog Archive

Thursday, December 31, 2015

It is the Witching Hour for AMC

As we suggested in a couple of earlier blog posts, if an agreement isn’t reached by midnight December 31, AMC may demand that we, along with hundreds of other cable companies, pull them from the cable lineup. Our programming supplier, NCTC, has been trying to negotiate a sensible and fair agreement with AMC for several months, but AMC’s aggressive demands for shocking rate increases, a ten year contract, and demands for us to add five additional channels that they own (and pay dearly for those channels too!), simply did not seem fair to NCTC, EPB, or our customers.

We want to continue carrying AMC Networks and providing programming like The Walking Dead, but there has to be a limit to what these networks can demand of you, the customers who ultimately must pay for the programming. The terms that AMC is demanding would initially add $2 to everyone’s cable bill (on top of the other increases coming due to contracts already signed with other programmers) and that cost would increase sharply every year for the next nine years. Just think about how video programming is evolving. We surely cannot commit to paying for AMC at a spiraling rate for the next ten years; especially when so much video programming is going to streaming services.

While we will continue to negotiate with AMC through our programming vendor NCTC, it seems that those discussions may go forward for the time being, without AMC on our lineup. We hope to strike a reasonable deal with them in the near future, but that is only a hope and we have no clear vision on whether they will become realistic in their demands. We know that this is not going to set well with a lot of our customers who really like The Walking Dead and other AMC programming. We realize it is highly prized programming and we will continue to negotiate the best deal possible for all of our customers