AMC Agrees With AT&T to Keep Networks on Pay TV System

AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX), which airs “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead” on cable television, reached a deal to keep its shows on AT&T Inc. (T)’s U-verse pay-TV system.

The agreement allows about 4 million U-verse customers to continue watching the AMC, IFC, We TV and Sundance channels, AT&T said yesterday in a statement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The accord is “long-term,” according to a statement yesterday from AMC.

AMC had been seeking “an excessive rate increase,” nearly double what other competitors pay for the suite of networks, AT&T said before the announcement. The accord comes in time for U-verse customers to watch the season premiere of “Breaking Bad” on July 15, one of AMC’s highest-rated shows.

“We respect AT&T as a partner that has a genuine interest in working with us to ensure their customers continue to enjoy our programming,” AMC said in the statement.

Dish Network Corp. (DISH) failed to reach an accord with AMC and replaced its channels at 11:59 p.m. on June 30, affecting 14 million customers. Englewood, Colorado-based Dish, the second- largest U.S. satellite-TV provider, threatened to drop the channels in May, saying AMC was charging too much for shows with limited viewership.

AMC contends that Dish is acting in response to litigation stemming from a 2008 lawsuit that may cost the satellite company $2.5 billion.

“Dish customers have lost some of their favorite shows because of an unrelated lawsuit which has nothing at all to do with our programming, our ratings or our rates,” AMC said in the statement.

AMC rose 0.3 percent to $35.64 at 11:59 a.m. in New York. AT&T increased 0.8 percent to $35.94. Dish advanced 0.1 percent to $28.58.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net Cordell Eddings in New York at ceddings@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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