After a series of extensions, Suddenlink Communications and AMC Networks last week
finally concluded a new license-fee deal.
AMC’s multiyear carriage contract, struck on March 14, covers AMC, Sundance Channel,
IFC and women’s-targeted We TV. The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed,
averted what could have been a service disruption on March 15. The contract was originally
scheduled to end last Dec. 31, before AMC pushed it to the end of February and then the
midnight deadline on the Ides of March. The deal meant Suddenlink subscribers would not
miss the March 18 second-season fi nale of AMC’s zombie hit series, The Walking Dead.
Suddenlink had said AMC rejected the notion of conducting separate negotiations for
AMC and a separate deal tying IFC, Sundance and We TV together. Sources familiar with the
negotiations said the final pact includes all four networks. Suddenlink said AMC Networks
wanted a 50% increase this year and a 100% jump over the life of the AMC’s proposed pact.
The programmer’s position was that AMC’s value has increased significantly as it has
evolved from a service that was largely the home to theatricals to one of the most successful
purveyors of original programming on the cable dial. AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan has
repeatedly said AMC alone merits a monthly subscriber fee of 75 cents.
Suddenlink continues to carry AMC on expanded basic, while IFC, Sundance, and We TV
are on many of its systems’ digital tiers.
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