GCI subscribers could miss out on new episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead if negotiations are not finalized by midnight on January 1, 2016. This could leave many Walking Dead fans high and dry in regards to being able to view the second half of season 6 of the popular zombie show that will return to air in February.
According to Variety, negotiations between AMC and the National Cable Television Cooperative are still underway in a bid to keep AMC programming on the air for GCI. However, Newsminer has claimed GCI are already advising viewers to look to alternative means in order to watch The Walking Dead.
CGI are claiming a “massive price increase” as the reason behind dropping AMC and its affiliated sites, IFC, POP, Reelz, TVG and WEtv. BBC America is also run by AMC, but, currently, this subsidiary is not a part of the NCTC negotiations. The National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), which represents 740 cable providers, is still trying to broker a deal with GCI. Spokesperson Heather Handyside issued the following statement.
“The NCTC are negotiating on behalf of the small, independent providers. The last offer we saw was an almost 200 percent increase from our current costs, so there would have to be a very significant change.”
As Variety points out, AMC could be in their rights to claim such a massive price increase considering they currently charge a much lower fee than other networks such as USA Network, TNT, and FX. However, GCI’s vice president of content and product management, Bob Ormberg, points the finger directly at AMC for them being forced into dropping the popular network.
“We know Alaska Walking Dead fans will be disappointed that AMC’s sky-high rates prevent GCI from carrying the show on our traditional TV lineup.”
Handyside also points out that if the average person were to suddenly get a 200 percent increase on their cereal or gym membership, they would naturally have to search for alternatives.
And this is what GCI is now doing. Bob Ormberg also points out that even though GCI is likely to drop AMC, subscribers will have “more viewing choices than ever before.”
GCI will now offer the 60,000 members who subscribe to their AMC package, a $50 TiVo Visa gift card so they can check out The Walking Dead on providers such as VuDu, Google Play, and iTunes. While Walking Dead fans will have to wait 24 hours after each new episode views before they can watch, it is a compromise GCI are willing to try in order to hold onto existing subscribers. Newsminer advises that GCI customers can request the gift card by calling 844-754-3711, or by visiting http://bit.ly/1MHRmdX.
While it seems likely GCI will drop AMC on January 1 and Walking Dead fans will be left high and dry for at least the first 24 hours following each new season 6 episode, AMC is still determined to work with the NCTC and come to some sort of a compromise.
“We have extraordinarily high regard for the NCTC and for its members. We have long supported smaller cable operators, and the particular challenges and considerations that they face in the service of their markets. We will continue to endeavor to do everything we can to make them successful,” they said in a statement.
Alongside AMC being dropped by GCI, Univision will also leave the subscription service, citing price increases as their reasoning as well. Heather Handyside did assure viewers that GCI would maintain a variety of other Spanish-language channels to compensate for this loss.
Are you a GCI member who subscribes to AMC for shows such as The Walking Dead? Will you be changing subscribers is GCI no longer caters to your undead needs? Let us know by commenting below.
Season 6 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 14, 2016.
[Image Credit: AMC]