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Dish drops AMC (+WeTV, IFC & Sundance)


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#501 OFFLINE   steveT

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:33 AM

I'm not going to comment on the motives behind what E* is doing vs. what AMC is doing, and what everyone wants. Not really my place as an employee of E* to do so. But, I will say, I worked yesterday, and I took a grand total of 1 call about the moved channels.


Really. So please tell us how many calls Dish took overall yesterday about the AMC issue.

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#502 OFFLINE   Inkosaurus

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:38 AM

I'm not going to comment on the motives behind what E* is doing vs. what AMC is doing, and what everyone wants. Not really my place as an employee of E* to do so. But, I will say, I worked yesterday, and I took a grand total of 1 call about the moved channels..


Not sure how long you have been working for E* but as a former employee and one whos been around for the big drops (FX and what not anyone?) I can promise you its going to get worse.

Have fun with the mandatory 6th day shifts and extended shifts/Mandatory 1 hour ET tacked onto every shift :lol:

Edited by Inkosaurus, 05 June 2012 - 12:53 PM.


#503 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:58 AM

I don't know how many of Dish's 14 million customers subscribe to tiers above AT120, but I have to believe it would be at least a third. That's 4.6 million. At 25¢ a month ... well, you do the math. It does seem like a lot of cash gets into the Sunday collection plate. Are the sermons really that good?

One problem is that there are four Rainbow Media stations - AMC, IFC, WE tv, and Sundance Channel. Genuinely decent creative programming on all of them wouldn't fill the 1,100 hours a year one of these stations has to fill in the evenings. Why exactly are there four? Would we suffer if the original evening programming currently on these channels was shifted to just one?

As some of you know, I write reviews of "Mad Men", perhaps my favorite show. I'll be happy to pay $26 to stream the 13 episodes each season for the next two years. In fact there are three shows total on AMC I'll pay for.

In the meantime, we Americans need to see some serious thought given to the whole hundreds of cable channels thing and to the role of broadcast networks.



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#504 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:18 PM

If Dish really thinks that AMC is not bringing enough to the table to warrant a pay hike then so be it. But they are sending a message to other companies to reign in spending on original programing and we will be the losers in the end because many new shows that we would probably like will never come to light.


To be fair... IF you've been reading about AMC in recent history, they are the ones making bad decisions about spending money on original programming.

After season 1 of Walking Dead, they essentially ran off the hit showrunner over budget issues... asking him to cut the budget for season 2 for a show that was setting ratings records on AMC.

Mad Men also had budget issues, with AMC slashing that budget... negotiations ran so long that it essentially resulted in skipping a year of production/airing of the show.

So... the recent Dish dispute has nothing to do with AMC cutting spending on its original programming... They were doing that on their own!

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#505 OFFLINE   steveT

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:49 PM

To be fair... IF you've been reading about AMC in recent history, they are the ones making bad decisions about spending money on original programming.

After season 1 of Walking Dead, they essentially ran off the hit showrunner over budget issues... asking him to cut the budget for season 2 for a show that was setting ratings records on AMC.

Mad Men also had budget issues, with AMC slashing that budget... negotiations ran so long that it essentially resulted in skipping a year of production/airing of the show.

So... the recent Dish dispute has nothing to do with AMC cutting spending on its original programming... They were doing that on their own!


You're right about all that. For awhile there, AMC was the network that could do no wrong. Putting out one Emmy-winning series after another. But then they went a little nuts, started trying to cut costs (rumor was that Breaking Bad also suffered last season from budget cutting), and messing with their top shows.

But, despite all that, they're still WAY out-performing the major networks in creating new dramas. None of the big 4 are coming out with anything as intelligent and well-written as the AMC dramas. And AMC's pipeline is still at work; last year there was a rumor that they may finally develop a scifi show, which would be great since the SyFy network has abandoned scifi and moved big time into cheap reality shows.

AMC used to be a joke of a network, airing heavily edited feature films, with commercial breaks every 5 minutes (remember the acronym, "Always Mostly Commercials"?...) But they've now turned into the best new source for scripted drama on television, blowing away the major networks from a creative standpoint. I'd say that's worth 75 cents per subscriber.

#506 OFFLINE   inazsully

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:53 PM

I agree with you there Stewart. Over budgeting and unattainable expectations on AMC's part really hurt their bottom line. Channels like AMC, Lifetime, A&E, and FX can't afford to make mistakes. They have very little margin for error. They do however usually give a new show more than a year to garner an audience and that gives us a chance to get on the bandwagon of a good show. In today's market the major networks require almost instant gratification or the show is gone gone gone. Several good shows were cancelled that were new last year and a few may even be picked up by one of the lesser channels. If a show like "Mash" or "Cheers" were to come out now in 2012 they would not make it through the first year. Which they almost didn't back in the day. But look how they turned out. Not sure if CW is affiliated with someone else but they have several really good shows, "Supernatural", "Nikita", "Vampire Diaries".

#507 OFFLINE   Inkosaurus

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:58 PM

To be fair... IF you've been reading about AMC in recent history, they are the ones making bad decisions about spending money on original programming.

After season 1 of Walking Dead, they essentially ran off the hit showrunner over budget issues... asking him to cut the budget for season 2 for a show that was setting ratings records on AMC.


They also completely threw out Darabonts prequel to the pilot which was a story arc about the soldier found in the tank early on in the series. It was going to cover his final days as the fort fell and how exactly he ended up in the tank, and putting more emphasis on how lucky Rick was over all to get that grenade that saved everyones lives at the end of Season 1.

There was a ton more that they scrapped for the series that would have been truly nice to see, including a ton of stuff from the comic that didnt make it into season 2. Why do you think they spent most of the time at the farm? It was cheaper.

#508 OFFLINE   goinsleeper

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 01:32 PM

I agree with you there Stewart. Over budgeting and unattainable expectations on AMC's part really hurt their bottom line. Channels like AMC, Lifetime, A&E, and FX can't afford to make mistakes. They have very little margin for error. They do however usually give a new show more than a year to garner an audience and that gives us a chance to get on the bandwagon of a good show. In today's market the major networks require almost instant gratification or the show is gone gone gone. Several good shows were cancelled that were new last year and a few may even be picked up by one of the lesser channels. If a show like "Mash" or "Cheers" were to come out now in 2012 they would not make it through the first year. Which they almost didn't back in the day. But look how they turned out. Not sure if CW is affiliated with someone else but they have several really good shows, "Supernatural", "Nikita", "Vampire Diaries".


One quite popular show this happened to was Family Guy. I watched the very first episode after the Superbowl (don't remember which Superbowl). The show was hilarious. I loved it. Then Fox started changing the day and time it came on. After three changes I couldn't keep up with when it was coming on. Eventually the show was dropped and the rights were up for sale. Adult Swim picked up those rights and redeemed the popularity of the show. Fox starting writing the show again and look at it now. Even though the show was not sold to a 'lesser' channel, the distribution rights were sold until it was popular again.

#509 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:37 PM

I agree with you there Stewart. Over budgeting and unattainable expectations on AMC's part really hurt their bottom line. Channels like AMC, Lifetime, A&E, and FX can't afford to make mistakes.


Exactly... and I can't help but think some of AMC's sudden desire to raise rates has more to do with their own poor financial decisions than their trying to spin the value of their network.

It really is a lot like what the Dish vs Voom lawsuit is about... with Dish alleging that they agreed to carry Voom HD if the money they paid to Rainbow Media was spent to improve the programming... but Rainbow squandered the money (definitely didn't put it into creating new programs or buying new ones back then)... so ultimately Dish cried "foul" and pulled support.

Deja vu all over again as AMC (spun off from Rainbow) has several popular programs but is refusing to spend money on them even though viewers are willing to watch and spend money to do so.

Several good shows were cancelled that were new last year and a few may even be picked up by one of the lesser channels. If a show like "Mash" or "Cheers" were to come out now in 2012 they would not make it through the first year. Which they almost didn't back in the day.


True. Seinfeld falls into that category as well. Their initial 6-episode run was all but certain to be canceled until an 11th hour reprieve... and Seinfeld was sure they wouldn't get another after that 1st full season order... but it went 9 total seasons and was one of NBC's best shows and highest rated for quite a while.

But look how they turned out. Not sure if CW is affiliated with someone else but they have several really good shows, "Supernatural", "Nikita", "Vampire Diaries".


UPN was a Paramount endeavor... WB was a Warner endeavor... They sort-of merged (the channels, not the parent companies), and WB is kind of a joint venture between CBS/Viacom & Warner.

So there should be some deep pockets... and they can afford (should they choose to do so) to give a show a chance, especially since they don't yet have a full primetime lineup all week... so they have room to grow IF the suits decide to keep the network afloat.

They also completely threw out Darabonts prequel to the pilot which was a story arc about the soldier found in the tank early on in the series. It was going to cover his final days as the fort fell and how exactly he ended up in the tank, and putting more emphasis on how lucky Rick was over all to get that grenade that saved everyones lives at the end of Season 1.

There was a ton more that they scrapped for the series that would have been truly nice to see, including a ton of stuff from the comic that didnt make it into season 2. Why do you think they spent most of the time at the farm? It was cheaper.


Yep... they made a point of casting a known actor for the dead soldier in the tank... and it's just money thrown away now that they didn't go back and tell his story. The point of casting that actor (his name is escaping me at the moment, but he was on Smallville and the US version of Being Human) was to setup for having him in the episode that was the flashback to that story.

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#510 OFFLINE   coldsteel

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:22 PM

Sam Witwer, Stewart.
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#511 OFFLINE   inazsully

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:31 PM

I don't doubt that AMC is trying to raise rates to compensate for poor financial choices. But I also think they are spending on solid original programing. The problem is that not enough viewers have discovered that programing. Sort of like Sienfeld, Mash, Cheers etc. W Once they were discovered they ended up being monster hits. Don't drop them, give them a raise because they are the only channel out there that is trying to offer us something of substance. Please, enough of the crap storm of idiotic realty shows being shoved down our throats. I'll happily support (with more $$$) the creation of something that doesn't insult my intelligence and actually makes me think. I'm a TV nut, aren't we all?

#512 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:34 PM

Sam Witwer, Stewart.


Thanks... it was bugging me that I couldn't remember his name!

I don't doubt that AMC is trying to raise rates to compensate for poor financial choices. But I also think they are spending on solid original programing.


Perhaps... but who should you be more inclined to give money to... a company that spends wisely or one that squanders what you give them?

Had AMC been managed better, they would have had more money to put into their programming without asking for a rate increase.

It's kind of like when your kid spends all his allowance on candy and then wants more money for something he needs... you could keep throwing money at him, or you could try and teach him the value of a dollar so he makes better choices and takes care of his needs before his budget runs out.

Giving AMC a rate increase might be borderline irresponsible given how they throw money down the toilet apparently instead of giving it to the people who are actually creating their quality shows!

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#513 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:45 PM

I don't doubt that AMC is trying to raise rates to compensate for poor financial choices. But I also think they are spending on solid original programing. The problem is that not enough viewers have discovered that programing. Sort of like Sienfeld, Mash, Cheers etc. W Once they were discovered they ended up being monster hits. Don't drop them, give them a raise because they are the only channel out there that is trying to offer us something of substance. Please, enough of the crap storm of idiotic realty shows being shoved down our throats. I'll happily support (with more $$$) the creation of something that doesn't insult my intelligence and actually makes me think. I'm a TV nut, aren't we all?



I would say that it's part of it. If they never made bad financial mistakes they would be a number 1 rated channel all of the time. However this business is about taking risks and cutting losses. It also goes a long with you have to spend money to make money. So in theory more money could mean more shows like the ones people like or it could mean more piles of steamy crap reality shows.

With all of that said I don't think AMC has licensed out any of their repeat rights to other stations and that would help them gain viewership as well. I could be wrong as I don't watch USA and channels like them that are usually just second tier providers. Even AMC is like that but if they could get their shows on more channels that's more people wanting the original content which is more ad revenue.
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#514 OFFLINE   jrseh

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:10 PM

I'm one of the people who didn't find out about this AMC dispute until last night, when I noticed the channel was gone from 130. Checked dbstalk this morning, and was shocked to find out what's going on. I called Dish immediately. I've been with Dish for probably 15 years, pay a huge monthly rate for almost every channel they've got, but I swear, if they drop AMC, I will drop Dish, guaranteed. AMC has the best scripted dramas on television right now, and no way am I being consigned to watching them on a PC screen.

I'm another who "just happened to notice", after watching last Sunday's DVR'd episode of The Killing, that next Sunday's part 1 of the 2 part finale was not scheduled to record in my DVR schedule, since some other show was now in that time slot on channel 130. Then I found that 130 was no longer AMC, but HDNET. No notice from Dish at all (thanks a pantload, Dish. You're going to have a LOT of angry subscribers who haven't caught on to the channel switch next Sunday - hope you're ready for them). Only after I searched for The Killing did I find it on 9609 and 9610.

Now I'm here learning of all the nonsense that's been going on. At least in the past, Dish posted notices before making such foolish moves. This one takes the cake! AMC is my favorite Dish channel. If it goes, so do I.

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#515 OFFLINE   inazsully

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:39 PM

Stewart there are many here that would say that Dish has squandered money given them as much as AMC has. Besides, if we stopped supporting every company that made financial mistakes or poor investments there wouldn't be any company's left to support. Look at NBC for instance. Every year for quite some time now NBC has finished dead last in viewer popularity among the big 4. CBS has been #1 for most of those years. I can't help but feel that we should support the channels that are offering us new original programing, like AMC, A&E,USA,TNT, FX, CW, Lifetime, plus a few others. We all complain about the hanger on channels that we never watch but get shoved into a package. They are the reason we still talk about a-la-cart. AMC, whether you watch them or not, is not a hanger on but an innovator.

#516 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:27 AM

In what ways, and about how much, has Dish squandered money?
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#517 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:36 AM

AMC is my favorite Dish channel. If it goes, so do I.


AMC isn't a Dish channel, but anyways, BuhBye!
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#518 OFFLINE   steveT

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 10:20 AM

Hopefully the activity on Dish's Facebook page are an indicator of the backlash Dish is receiving over their actions in the AMC dispute. Dish could have at least claimed taking the high ground if they hadn't moved the channel right during the middle of "The Killing". Or insulting customer's intelligence by claiming the move was due to "low ratings", when that whole section of the channel line-up in the 100's is chock full of lower-rated networks. It still amazes me that Dish is acting in such a childish manner.

#519 OFFLINE   inazsully

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

In what ways, and about how much, has Dish squandered money?


There may be a few here that can answer that question but for you ask someone like me that question is ridiculous. I'm hardly an insider, just an observer as 99% here are.

#520 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 10:37 AM

There may be a few here that can answer that question but for you ask someone like me that question is ridiculous. I'm hardly an insider, just an observer as 99% here are.


Uh, sorry, but you made the statement. That you're ducking the question and calling me ridiculous is.... uh, ironic.
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