I am loyal.
To a fault.
Or, perhaps it is that I hate change. Or moving. Whatever.
In any case, I am a Dish Network subscriber. I have been for over 10 years. I like it. With the exception of very extreme weather (or, you know, trees growing in the way), it has worked flawlessly.
However, on June 30, Dish dropped AMC. I never noticed, as I never watch AMC.
So, imagine my surprise when I turned on my TV on Sunday night, fired up the DVR (what? You watch it in real-time, with commercials? What are you, a neanderthal?) and…nothing. It is not showing up in my DVR list.
Ok. No problem. I will just make sure I didn’t delete it from my queue, and then setup one of the repeats to “tape”.
Wait….why can’t I find AMC? Did they change channels? Did I have a stroke? Wait? What is going on? Where is everyone? Oh. My. God. It is The Rapture! And, I’m left behind with all of the fun people!
<firing up the old browser>Ok; don’t panic. Just look up online and see what is happening</close browser in a panic>.
After calming down (it is just a TV show, after all), I send an email to Dish Network support. Below is the response I received, with the emphasis being mine:
Dear Valued DISH customer,
Thank you for your e-mail.
The channels AMC Networks forces us to deliver — WE, IFC and AMC — do not give our customers the best content at the best value. We have permanently removed them from the DISH line up as of June 30.
AMC Networks has further devalued its programming by making its handful of popular shows available to consumers via iTunes, Netflix and Amazon.com. This means that AMC Networks wants us to pay many millions of dollars for content that is available to our subscribers the next day for just a couple of dollars.
Among DISH viewers, movies on AMC are substantially more popular than its few original series. But customers have better choices than AMC as DISH offers Blockbuster @Home, dozens of movie channels from partners like HBO, Showtime, Starz, EPIX, HD Net, MGM HD, IndiePlex, RetroPlex, PixL and the latest new releases on DISH Cinema.
People don’t want to and shouldn’t have to watch their movies interrupted with commercials. The movies shown on AMC are not commercial-free. DISH is proud to offer customers alternative programming options that deliver great movies, un-interrupted.
DISH is providing more movie content to its customers. We will offer top quality, commercial-free HDNet Movies at channel 130 to replace AMC. HDNet, soon to become AXS.TV, will be at channel 131 to replace IFC. Style will replace WE at channel 128. Additionally, we are providing all of our customers with a free preview of great independent films on IndiePlex and to dozens of top movies on Encore for the month of July. This will give our customers a taste of the thousands of movies on demand as part of Blockbuster @Home.
At DISH, we stand up for our customers every day to deliver more than just the best in entertainment. We have remained in contact with AMC throughout this situation. Should AMC choose to change their position, we remain open to a proposal that would resolve this issue.
Thank you for being a valued and loyal customer.
Ok. Two points here:
- Every single channel, including the big 4 Network channels, offer their content in some form online. If I want to watch something on my computer (legally), I can find a way to do it, through iTunes, Netflix, Boxee, Hulu, Amazon, Bob’s Big House of Streaming Video, etc. I choose, however, to watch it on my TV when I can. That is why I have one.
- The only reason I can imagine that movies are more popular than their series on AMC, is that the series are fewer and fill up less time in the day. Plus, they deal with adult themes, which means you aren’t going to have them on at 2:00 in the afternoon.
So, that is it. On July 18, 2012, I have called it. Television is dead, and streaming is the answer. You are welcome.