Fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead will want to pay close attention to this one. It’s possible that, if you have DirecTV, you may not be able to finish watching season 5. There are tons of business dealings between networks and cable providers that go on behind the scenes that we’re not privy to, but during the last episode of the hit zombie drama, AMC played a message airing a bit of their dirty laundry.
The deal between AMC and DirecTV expires at the end of the year, and to make a long story short, the network wants more money, and the negotiations have apparently gone rather poorly. The Walking Dead takes an annual break in the middle of each season, this year is not going to be an exception, and they took it upon themselves to let viewers know that, for some of you, it may not come back.
Here’s the message they aired:
DirecTV’s agreement to carry AMC expires mid-way through the current season of ‘The Walking Dead.’ We’ve had a long, successful partnership with DirecTV and have great respect for their management team and the business they’ve built. Our goal is to continue our partnership, by renewing our agreement and extending our business relationship well into the future. Unfortunately, DirecTV has not engaged in meaningful negotiations with us, which leaves us to doubt whether a timely renewal is possible. In addition, DirecTV is in violation of our current agreement, and it has dropped AMC in Latin America. We hope to finalize a new agreement quickly but in the meantime, we think it is important to alert DirecTV customers who care about ‘The Walking Dead’ that their ability to watch the show on DirecTV is at risk.
While it doesn’t say this explicitly, they could add a little addendum if they wanted that says, “Hey, DirecTV subscribers, write angry letters and make angry phone calls demanding they cave into our demands.” But that would tacky.
Never one to be left out of an argument, DirecTV released their own statement, which reads:
[Customers] will not miss any of this year’s new season of ‘The Walking Dead‘ or any other shows. AMC is contractually obligated to provide all of its programming for several more months and we intend to renew our AMC partnership at a price that’s fair to our customers.
Overall, this sounds like the kind of propaganda flame war that goes on all the time in the entertainment industry. One side wants more money, the other side, doesn’t want to pay, and each faction appeals to the public, trying to make it appear that they’re the one with your best interest at heart.
If you wondering how likely it is that the two sides don’t reach an accord, if AMC drops off DirecTV, it won’t be the first time. Back in 2012 there was a similar disagreement with Dish and as a result there was no AMC on that provider for three months, and there have also been clashes with Suddenlink and Cable One. So the network is not opposed to sticking to their guns and waiting for the providers to cave. After all, they’re the one with the product people want, and nothing spurs on action quite like potential lost revenue.
Hopefully they can come to an agreement, but we’ll let you know if we hear anything.