AMC Networks still getting dropped by small cable operators despite NCTC deal

Small cable operators are dropping AMC Networks despite a carriage renewal deal carved out earlier this month with their buying cooperative, the NCTC.

Longview-Kilgore Cable in Longview, Texas, will drop AMC Networks channels including AMC and WeTV starting Feb. 1. The MSO will add CBS Sports Network as a replacement in its standard tier and Boomerang to its digital tier. 

"The additional costs and the less desirable programming would not be in the best interest of our subscribers," the company said in a statement. "Their most popular show, The Walking Dead, is available for streaming on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video."

The National Cable TV Cooperative announced a carriage renewal deal with AMC earlier this month, ending a rancorous negotiation that included blackout threats. According to an NCTC spokesperson, its more than 700 member operators have a chance to opt out of the deal once they've reviewed it.

The spokesperson confirmed that other operators have indeed decided to drop AMC Networks channels but would not tell FierceCable how many. 

Reps for AMC Networks have not yet responded to FierceCable's inquiry for comment. 

AMC has experienced significant growth in audience and brand profile since it negotiated its last deal with NCTC systems, thanks to hit series on its flagship AMC channel including The Walking Dead, as well as the now-culminated Breaking Bad and Mad Men.

In the run-up to the deal, NCTC member cable systems said that AMC was looking for fee increases of as much as 400 percent. The programmer's new proposed deal would include digital rights, but also force operators to put AMC's full fleet of networks -- which also include IFC, Sundance TV, WeTV and BBC America -- on their basic tiers.

For more:
- read this Longview News-Journal story

Related articles:
NCTC and AMC finally reach distribution deal
AMC Networks targets skinny bundles in carriage fight with the NCTC
Alaska's GCI won't carry AMC or Univision in 2016 because of fee hikes

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