According to AMC, DirecTV may walk away from The Walking Dead and the rest of its programming lineup.
During the Nov. 2 premiere episode of The Walking Dead entitled "Slabtown," AMC began alerting DirecTV subscribers via commercials and graphic snipes that their ability to watch cable's top series, and TV's leader among persons 18 to 49, could be compromised by year-end.
With the parties' carriage contract set to expire before 2015 dawns, AMC Networks said that the nation's No. 2 distributor has not engaged in "meaningful conversations" about a renewal and had breached their extant contract by dropping AMC in Latin America.
"DirecTV's agreement to carry AMC expires mid-way through the current season of The Walking Dead. We've had a long, successful partnership with DirecTV and have great respect for their management team and the business they've built. Our goal is to continue our partnership, by renewing our agreement and extending our business relationship well into the future.
"Unfortunately, DirecTV has not engaged in meaningful negotiations with us, which leaves us to doubt whether a timely renewal is possible," the statement continued. "In addition, DirecTV is in violation of our current agreement, and it has dropped AMC in Latin America. We hope to finalize a new agreement quickly but in the meantime, we think it is important to alert DirecTV customers who care about The Walking Dead that their ability to watch the show on DirecTV is at risk."
DirecTV exchanged fire thusly, saying its subscribers won't miss any AMC fare. "DirecTV customers will not miss any of this year's new season of The Walking Dead or any other shows. AMC is contractually obligated to provide all of its programming for several more months and we intend to renew our AMC partnership at a price that’s fair to our customers."
DirecTV and AT&T are awaiting federal approval of a proposal that would merge the companies.