Dish Network to Deny Viewers Their 'Mad Men' Fix

A legal battle between Dish Network and AMC is likely what's leading to Dish dropping AMC's channels starting this summer, which could put your Mad Men viewing party plans in serious jeopardy. 

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If you're a fan of The Walking Dead, Mad Men, or any other show on AMC and you get your television package through Dish Network, you might want to consider switching. Dish Network announced it won't be renewing its contract with AMC when their current deal runs out at the end of June.

The New York Times' Brian Stelter says the announcement is likely tied to an ongoing legal battle between Dish Network and AMC. He explains:

The dispute comes at a time when the two companies are battling in court over a separate issue involving VOOM HD, a defucnt set of high-definition cable networks. Dish used to carry VOOM’s networks, and when it stopped doing so in 2008, VOOM – an indirect subsidiary of AMC — filed a breach of contract lawsuit and sought $2.5 billion in damages.

On April 26, according to VOOM, a New York State Supreme Court judge rejected a series of pretrial motions by Dish, “leaving the case to be set for trial,” AMC Networks said in a statement on Friday morning.

Dish denied they were dropping AMC because of the VOOM dispute, and instead opted for the "no one watches your precious shows" defense. “Our decision to drop AMC Networks’ channels is solely dependent on their high renewal cost when compared to their low viewership,” the network said in a statement.

The channels will officially be dropped from the service "sometime this summer," and, if they want, Dish could put AMC fans in a real sticky situation. If Dish wanted to really dig a knife in AMC's side they could cancel the channels before the end of June contract deadline. The last two episodes of this season of Mad Men are set to air on June 3 and June 10, respectively. A May 30th cut-off would seriously antagonize any AMC fans who are subscribed to Dish, but the quotes Dish gave make it seem like they aren't very scared of the Mad Men faithful.

Dish has advice for any AMC fans worried about missing their favorite shows: go somewhere else. "AMC Networks’ very limited popular programming is nonexclusive, and available to our customers through multiple other outlets such as, iTunes and Netflix,” the provider said. Emphasis ours, because ouch.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.