Dish Network said AMC Networks' offer to let the satellite operator's subscribers access the Season 5 premiere of Breaking Bad on Sunday reinforced its position that the programmer's networks are overpriced.
After Dish pulled AMC, IFC and WeTV on June 30, AMC has been running ads urging Dish customers to switch to another provider. On Thursday, the programmer said it will offer a free live stream of the July 15 season premiere of Breaking Bad to give Dish customers "an extra week to swtich providers."
In an email to Multichannel News, Dish spokesman John Hall said, "We think this is a fantastic idea, but giving their programming away for free underscores our fundamental argument -- AMC Networks' offerings are overpriced relative to the value they deliver, especially given the availability of their content through other outlets like Amazon, iTunes and Netflix."
AMC says Dish dropped its networks without any negotiations and claims the DBS operator's decision was related to ongoing litigation with Dish regarding its deal to carry Voom HD, the suite of defunct channels from Cablevision Systems' Rainbow Media Holdings, AMC Networks' predecessor company.
Dish has said it decided to not renew the carriage deal with AMC because declines in viewership of the networks among customers did not justify the price increase the programmer was asking for.
In place of the AMC networks, Dish now carries Mark Cuban's AXS.tv and HDNet Movies as well as Comcast's Style.