Shares of AMC Networks and Dish Network were up strongly on
Monday, the first trading day after the two inked a $700 million settlement
that caused the programmer to drop a contentious breach of contract suit and
brought carriage to its quartet of channels.
AMC stock has been up since last Thursday, when
speculation was high that its defunct Voom HD channel would settle its $2.5
billion breach of contract suit against Dish. OnSunday, the two parties reached agreement, with Dish agreeing to pay $700
million in cash and restore AMC Network to its 14 million subscribers. Three
more AMC channels -- IFC, WE tv and the Sundance Channel will be available to
Dish customers on Nov. 1.
Also as part of the deal, AMC's former parent Cablevision
Systems received $80 million in exchange for MVDDS wireless spectrum. AMC and
Cablevision will split the settlement, with AMC receiving about $310 million
and Cablevision (including the spectrum sale) will get $390 million. The
satellite giant also agreed to carry MSG Networks' use music channel -- another
Cablevision spin-off. Dish had not carried Fuse since 2010.
Most analysts saw the settlement as a positive for both
sides -- AMC gets guaranteed cash and carriage of four networks that have been
dark to Dish subscribers since June, and Dish avoids the possibility of having
to shell out a multibillion-dollar legal award.
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