$2.75 million per episode for the second season (cut from $3.4 million for the first season).
AMC networks reportedly paid $14.55 million per month for production in 2011 (all shows). If the estimated $2.5 million per month DISH has been paying is the same rate as other providers paid for the show they would have been collecting $16.66 million per month in revenue. Losing DISH puts their revenue below their production costs. (And there are other costs to running a network.)
So how will they pay for Mad Men, Breaking Bad and the Walking Dead? More cuts in production? Breaking Bad is facing it's final 16 episodes ... broken up into two years of delivery ... I suppose that is one way. Make people pay for two years of AMC to get that 16 hours of content?
AMC will need to get that $2.5 million somewhere ... and if it isn't from their other distributors then it will have to come from further cuts. The reality we are facing is that everyone, regardless of provider, will be losing Breaking Bad (the show is ending) and the other shows will be lost as well if AMC can't pay for them. So perhaps AMC might want to get creative and see if they can make an offer that DISH cannot refuse?
The only problem is, that doesn't really add up does it? We know generally prices are based on subscribers in terms of how much they actually get, so dish would be a big dog, as would DIRECTV and Comcast. Those three together probably pay more than a quarter the rates they get in total from subscribers.
However, I doubt you can say that dish leaving them behind would put them below production costs AND therefore in need of making bigger cuts. You have to add back in ad revenue as well. It's entirely possible that. Amc doesn't make enough in subscription costs alone to break even ever. They may rely on ad dollars every bit as much as they do subscriber rates.
Of course dish being gone also hurts ad dollars, so that also has an effect. There is no easy way to figure out the dollar impact of dish leaving amc behind.
And who knows how much actual profit the networks pull in either. Hollywood accounting is ridiculous. Money is buried behind ever corner. It might be they could lose dish and all it's ad dollars and not need to change anything. Maybe the reason they made all those production pricing cuts in the first place was they wanted to make sure if they lost one of the big three providers, they would still have the same amount of profit coming in afterward, and they just planned far in advance, expecting all this to happen. Those cuts could have also been about the company feeling they where not getting their return on investment, and that it could be done just as well for less money, and therefore higher profits.
I doubt this will really affect either companies bottom line in and of itself over the long haul. It will only hurt amc if they lose another big carriage deal, to DIRECTV or Comcast, or several other providers combined.