The only problem is, that doesn't really add up does it?
Sure it does. Take the various source numbers we have and do the math.
The production budgets for 2011 was published in an article complaining about AMC slashing their productions. Divide by 12 and you get $14.55 million.
Based on numbers noted in previous lawsuits DISH has approximately 10 million customers at AT200 or above (AMC's tier). Based on AMC getting an average 25c per subscriber that's $2.5 million. Some media reports say DISH subscribers were 15% of AMC's subscriber base ... which puts AMC's subscription based revenue (before losing DISH) at $16.66 million and after losing DISH at $14.14 million - which is below the production cost for 2011.
I don't know if large providers pay more than small, but using an industry average for what AMC gets should still come out to the $16.66 million. And if large providers like DISH are paying more that just makes the lost of their subscribers even more painful for AMC.
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.
Ad revenue that you note could drop due to advertisers reaching 15% less households.
I don't see how losing $2.5 million plus each month helps AMC. Do you? ~15% of subscriber revenue is not something that any network would want to see go away.
A couple of years ago The Weather Channel thought better of losing DISH subscribers. They took their carriage for granted and when they wanted more money they found out they could be replaced. Looking at losing nearly ALL of DISH's customers (being in AT120 and other basic packages) and the percentage of their households they would use they came to an agreement - and that agreement helped other providers as well as TWC dropped their il-advised movie nights (featuring any movie with weather in it) and got back to providing the weather. (It is hoping too much to get MTV to return to music videos at the next negotiation.
When is one of AMC's few good shows back on AMC with new episodes? Breaking Bad with eight episodes starting a week from Sunday? Walking Dead off until October? Mad Men done until next year? Perhaps Breaking Bad will be the test ... AMC can see how it does with 15% of their households gone.