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.