Oh Look, TV Viewers About To Get Screwed Over In Another Fee Dispute

If you have Dish Network satellite service, we hope you don’t like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead or anything else on AMC, the Sundance Channel, IFC or WE TV. The company says it’s dropping all four channels when their contract ends June 30.

Dish says that — in spite of the three somewhat popular (and at least in the case of Breaking Bad, downright rad) shows mentioned above — the soon-to-be-dropped stations have overall “had significant declines in viewership,” and that if Dish subscriber want to watch those shows they can rent them for streaming on Amazon or iTunes, or wait until they’re streaming for free on Netflix.

The Wall Street Journal says AMC is laying some of the blame on a recent setback in an ancient lawsuit having something to do with the long-since-vanished VOOM networks.

But Dish says, “Our decision to drop AMC Networks’ channels is solely dependent on their high renewal cost when compared to their low viewership.”

Dish seems somewhat resolute in its decision to pull the plug on these channels, but it’s possible this is all a negotiating ploy. Regardless, in the end it’s the customers who get screwed.

If Dish does axe these networks, then customers are paying for channels they aren’t receiving. And if the two parties do resolve their differences, it will inevitably result in higher bills for Dish customers.

And newer Dish customers are doubly screwed, as they are most likely locked into a contract for up to another couple years and their agreement with Dish no doubt states that a change in the channel lineup is not sufficient to cancel service without an early termination fee.

Dish Network to Drop AMC Channels [WSJ]