AMC Goes Public With Canadian Carriage Dispute

The Walking Dead 311 Episodic Merle Daryl - P 2013
Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead 311 Episodic Merle Daryl - P 2013

The U.S. channel alarms Rogers Communications subscribers as it threatens to yank new episodes of "The Walking Dead," "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad."

TORONTO – Looks like AMC is playing hardball in Canada after its carriage dispute with Dish Networks.

The U.S. channel has gone online to threaten Rogers Communications that it will yank its top American shows if a carriage dispute with the Canadian cable giant is not resolved.

AMC on Sunday night launched the web page warning Rogers TV subscribers that they could miss new episodes of popular series like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad if both sides fail to agree terms on a new distribution deal.

Carriage disputes between U.S. program suppliers and Canadian carriers aren’t new.

But U.S. channels rarely go public to gain leverage in contract renewal talks, as AMC has done this week.

The AMC campaign urges Rogers subscribers to email or call the Canadian media group to keep viewing the U.S. shows.

The Rogers corporate Facebook page was immediately bombarded with pleas from subscribers urging the cable giant to save the AMC deal or risk losing customers.

Rogers on Sunday night issued a statement on the social media site indicating it had “no intention of dropping AMC.”

The Canadian company added of the AMC carriage talks: “We're surprised and disappointed they would alarm our customers. We are in negotiations and expect a positive outcome.”

Rogers spokeswoman Patricia Trott on Monday echoed that frustration with AMC, as she added in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "We'll continue to work with our programming partners to provide our customers with the best TV and entertainment programming at reasonable rates."