AMC Networks Rate Increase is ‘Excessive,’ AT&T Says


DALLAS: AT&T, which is in the midst of negotiating a new deal to continue carrying AMC, IFC and WE tv on its U-verse platform, said AMC Networks "is seeking an excessive rate increase" that is "disproportionate compared to the viewership."

AT&T issued the statement about the carriage deal for the networks last night, just a few days before the current contract is due to expire. "We are making every effort to reach a fair agreement and continue providing these channels to our customers," the AT&T statement said. "Frankly, we’re disappointed AMC Networks has decided to take its negotiations public, instead of working with us in good faith, especially since we’re still actively in negotiations."

The statement continues, "AMC Networks is seeking an excessive rate increase in our overall fees for the right to deliver these channels. AMC Networks is asking that AT&T pay nearly double what we believe other competitors pay—including a smaller-sized competitor. We believe the rates they are seeking are disproportionate compared to the viewership we see across their channels."

"There’s an ongoing industry trend in which an increasing number of content providers seek unreasonable price increases from their service providers as those contracts expire," the statement concludes. "If we accept this cost increase from AMC Networks, it could result in higher prices for customers, and would only encourage other content providers to make similar demands.  We don’t want customers to lose these channels, but we need to take a stand now to keep costs down while continuing to provide the quality programming customers want and deserve."

AMC Networks is currently in the midst of a similar dispute with DISH Network.