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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it has finally happened. Time for AT&T's first dispute of 2020 this time it is AMC Networks. For the first time ever this will impact all FIVE AT&T video services:
  • Affected Channels: AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV, WeTV and AMC Premiere (streaming ad-free add-on to AMC's TV Everywhere app)
    • DirecTV
    • AT&T TV
    • AT&T TV Now
    • AT&T WatchTV
      • WatchTV customers don't get access to the TV Everywhere services except for HBO/HBO Max.
    • U-Verse TV
According to the articles (and the FCC complaint) AT&T's current agreement ends on August 31, 2020.

This also includes AMC's legacy AMC Premiere streaming service that provides ad-free experience to AMC's programming though AMC's TV Everywhere app for an additional $4.99/mo. AMC Premiere is tied to a MVPD carriage agreement.

AMCN notes in the complaint they started negotiations early with AT&T to avoid last minute crunches. AMCN believes AT&T is abusing its MVPD market power and treating them unfairly, including their new streaming bundle AMC+, when compared to AT&T owned TNT & HBO that are targeted to the same audience as AMC.

AMC+ replaces AMC Premiere and still requires the customer to have the main AMC channel on an MVPD. AMC+ is a streaming bundle that includes original series from AMC, IFC and SundanceTV. It also includes AMCN's other streaming services Shudder, SundanceNow, IFC Films Unlimited along with an ad-free linear network.

Comcast was the first to reach a deal with AMCN that includes this bundle for $4.99/mo (same price as AMC Premiere.) Dish Network was the second MVPD to reach a deal (shocking) that includes Sling TV. Dish Network & Sling TV customers pay $7/mo for the AMC+ add-on bundle.

There is also a second bundle called WE tv+ that features programming from WE TV and the streaming service UMC (Urban Movie Channel). Comcast also prices this add-on bundle at $4.99/mo. The news articles don't have Dish/Sling down as carriers of WE tv+ but if you go into modify your programming on Sling (or re-subscribe) you can find the option to add the WE tv+ bundle for $6/mo.

AMC is trying to get MVPDs and vMVPDs to offer the AMC+ bundle (and most likely the WE tv+ bundle) to their customers as part of carriage agreements.

Even though the complaint is largely redacted AMCN's complaint suggests AT&T has presented them with "discriminatory carriage agreement terms."

AT&T refutes AMCN's claims that they are treating them unfairly.
 

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Godfather
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Ah, the age old carriage license argument. It always goes the same way, with the two sides initially being miles apart on money. Then the deadline arrives and the channels go dark for a week or two. Both parties realize that they're losing money...one in the form of lost advertising revenue, and the other by the risk of losing customers. A deal then gets struck that could have been struck weeks earlier. :)
 

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Hard to claim AT&T is abusing its market power as an MVPD when AMC has already reached an agreement with Comcast who is a bigger MVPD thanks to Directv's subscriber losses over the last few years.
 

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Thank you for the advance notification. I don't watch much of the mentioned and will wait and see what messages may pop up after the 31st. I have the DTV Ultimate Package. If I loose the AMC, BBC America, channels, it won't break my heart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This could mean nothing but there is a slide in testing relating to this dispute. It is still possible for the two sides to reach an agreement and the slides never see the light of day.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yay to AT&T (rare combo of words here) and AMC! They managed to avoid a blackout and apparently reached a new carriage agreement. AMC Networks also withdrew their FCC complaint against AT&T. Congrats to both AT&T and AMC here honestly. I love it when two companies can work these things out without inconveniencing us (the customer).

AMC Networks Request To Withdraw Complaint Against AT&T Granted By FCC - Deadline
 
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