Dish moves AMC to the back of the channel bus amid increasingly ugly feud and threats to drop the network all altogether
Forget "Hatfields & McCoys" — the real feud playing out across television is between AMC and satellite provider Dish TV.
In another escalation in the ongoing battle between AMC and Dish, the latter relocated AMC's networks to the hinterlands on Sunday night, moving AMC, WEtv ad IFC to the back end of its program listings.
AMC and its sister networks were pushed to the outer reaches of Dish's program spectrum, which translates into a lot of tedious scrolling for someone who just wants to kick back and watch "Mad Men."
The shift in channels is but the latest volley in an increasingly ugly standoff between AMC and Dish. The move comes after AMC ran several ads Sunday calling on Dish customers to complain to the company about its plans to drop AMC, Sundance, and other AMC networks when their contract expires this month. AMC has set up a website, keepamcnetworks.com, to help Dish subscribers pressure Dish.
Dish announced it would drop the networks after it suffered a legal setback in a lawsuit over Voom HD, an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks. It said it was dropping the networks because they are expensive and deliver low ratings, which AMC disputes, pointing to the popularity of hits like "The Walking Dead."
AMC maintained its stance in a statement provided to TheWrap, saying that Dish's maneuverings are "in retaliation for an unrelated lawsuit."
"It is unfortunate that, in retaliation for an unrelated lawsuit, Dish is punishing its customers by threatening to drop the AMC Networks, and with this sudden, dramatic change in channel position, making it extremely difficult for their customers to find and watch some of the most popular and acclaimed shows on television," AMC's statement reads. "We've begun letting fans of 'Mad Men,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'The Killing,' and our other shows know that they may lose this programming, which is available on every other major satellite and cable TV provider."
Voom is suing Dish, accusing it of breaching a contract in which Dish agreed to carry Voom's suite of HD networks for 15 years. Voom contends that Dish improperly terminated the contract in 2008, and is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages.
Dish is also involved in separate litigation with ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC over its Auto Hop function, which allows viewers to skip the commercials on previously aired shows.
A representative for Dish did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment.