Dish Network Loss Not Hurting AMC Too Much Yet, But Could Spell Trouble For Future

Dish Network dropped cable network AMC Networks Inc. due to a contract dispute, but, though the loss cut AMC’s viewers by about 13 percent, it hasn’t touched the network’s revenue. Yet, that is.

AMC reported quarterly revenue on Thursday that beat analysts’ estimates, generating $328 million in revenue. But the cable network, home of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, could still have trouble ahead, Reuters reported.

The split with Dish Network will impact revenue in the future, the company said.

Dish Network dropped AMC after a dispute over programming fees, claiming that the New York-based AMC — once known as American Movie Classics and a mainstay of old movies — was charging fees too high for a lower-tier network.

AMC officials suggested there was a different motive.

“As has been widely reported, DISH Network dropped our networks to gain leverage in an unrelated lawsuit,” the company’s CEO Josh Sapan said in a statement on Thursday.

AMC and its former parent Cablevision sued Dish Network for $2.5 billion, claiming improper termination of a 15-year contract. The companies alleged that Dish Network improperly terminated the contract with VOOM HD, an indirect unit of AMC.

As AMC was beating its Wall Street expectations, Dish Network whiffed on an earnings report that came out earlier in the week. On Wednesday the satellite provider reported that second-quarter earnings fell 33 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Dish Network, which lost about 10,000 subscribers in the second quarter, has been making an aggressive push more for affluent customers willing to spend more each month on video. This group is less likely to cancel services, the Wall Street Journal noted.