If you’re a Dish Network subscriber, you may be all too familiar with the repeated threats that the cable channel AMC might be dropped from its lineup. Of course, pay TV operators and content providers go through this song and dance every time a new contract is up for renewal. But this may be the first time we’ve heard such a blunt argument as for why the cable operator isn’t willing to pay a lot of money for a network – because Netflix is making the network worth less.
Yup. In an investor discussion today, Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen said that it hasn’t been able to reach a deal for the contract renewal that includes the ability for Dish to offer AMC to its subscribers. AMC offers classic movies as well as popular original programming like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Mad Men. The problem is that AMC wants more money but Dish isn’t willing to offer it. So where does Netflix enter into this picture?
“One of the things that programmers have done is they’ve devalued their programming content by making it available in multiple outlets,” Ergen said. In other words, because shows like Breaking Bad are available through Netflix and other sources, the value of watching Breaking Bad on AMC is lessened. “Our customers are not really saying ‘we want to pay more money,’ they’re saying ‘we want more flexibility in our programming and we don’t want to pay more,’” Ergen continued.