The dispute between AMC and Dish Network is hitting hard for viewers of “Mad Men.”
Embroiled in an argument over why the satellite provider is dropping the AMC Networks, the network interrupted several scenes of the show’s finale to flash messages warning about the impending drop.
The ads were designed to annoy, with blaring sirens and a phone number for DirecTV, Dish’s main competitor, the Los Angeles Times reported.
This wasn’t the first time AMC first used “Mad Men” to strike a blow against Dish Network, and actually comes in response to a trick the satellite provider used last week. During last week’s “Mad Men” episode, AMC ran an ad informing viewers that Dish would drop the channel by the end of the month, the Los Angeles Times originally reported.
Viewers were given a website address where they could contact Dish and learn the “real reason” the networks are being dropped, which it claims is in retaliation for unrelated issues.
“It is unfortunate that, in retaliation for an unrelated lawsuit, DISH is punishing its customers by threatening to drop the AMC Networks, and with this sudden, dramatic change in channel position, making it extremely difficult for their customers to find and watch some of the most popular and acclaimed shows on television,” the company said in a statement.
Within two hours of the “Mad Men” airing last week, Dish dropped AMC from Channel 120 to Channel 9069 without letting viewers know. The move replaced the AMC signal with HD Net, which was airing a Nickelback concert at the time.
For its part, Dish claims the move to eliminate AMC Networks simply comes down to ratings.
“The decision is based on what we see as relatively high cost for a relatively low viewership,” Dish Network representative Bob Toevs told Wired. “This is a value equation.”
Toevs noted that an agreement could still be reached to keep AMC among Dish Network’s programming.