Videotron threatens to drop AMC again

We don’t know what it is about AMC, exactly, but once again they’re playing hardball with a Canadian TV distributor, and it’s at the point where the distributor has announced it is cutting the channel off.

This time it’s Videotron. Again.

In 2018, five years after it finally added the channel to its lineup, Videotron announced it was cutting AMC, the American channel once famous for shows like Mad Men and The Walking Dead. It said it couldn’t come to a carriage agreement with the channel that was reasonable, and so had no choice but to cut it off, even if it was still popular with some of its subscribers.

But with days to go before the cutoff, Videotron announced it had reached a deal with AMC to keep it on. Details were still not disclosed, but Videotron hinted that AMC had accepted a deal that was more reflective of Videotron’s position as a primarily French-language distributor, whose clients would be less interested in AMC than Rogers’s or Bell’s, for example.

And yet, the story went a similar way with Rogers and Bell last year. In November 2019, Rogers announced it was cutting AMC as of Jan. 1, only to save it with a last-minute deal. Bell followed each step a month later.

So you can understand the raised eyebrow at seeing that Videotron is once again telling subscribers it will drop AMC as of Feb. 11.

Like before, it says it has made the decision because of “unrealistic requests from AMC, which would have resulted in an unreasonable increase for our customers.”

We don’t know exactly what those requests are, but they could be things like minimum penetration guarantees or penetration-based rates, where Videotron’s wholesale fee is only reasonable if a large percentage of its subscribers subscribe to AMC.

Either way, we have just under two months for one of them to blink before Videotron’s customers lose access to their Breaking Bad and Walking Dead spinoff shows.

10 thoughts on “Videotron threatens to drop AMC again

  1. Anonymous

    While there isn’t a whole lot of new content these days on AMC that interests me as a Videotron subscriber, I was looking forward to seeing the final season of Better Call Saul, which was only getting better year after year, and will hopefully tie the loose ends that leads into Breaking Bad.

  2. Lewis

    “Funny” how two days before we had received an Email from Videotron stating their services (Internet / Cable) would get rate increases for a total of $4.50 starting in the new year…… and then you announce we’ll get even less for that money? Ridiculous! Yes it’s AMC’s bargaining I know, but it’s insulting nonetheless…

    1. Fagstein Post author

      If your package includes AMC, Videotron should replace it with something else. And if you add it à la carte, you’ll probably pay less without the channel.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      So is there anything we can do?

      Talk to Videotron and AMC and pressure them to come to a deal. You could tell Videotron you’re willing to switch providers over this, and you could tell AMC you won’t.


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