Dropped By Dish, AMC Pulls An Anti-Viacom: Offers Breaking Bad Premiere Free To Dish Subscribers

from the that's-how-it's-done dept

Yesterday, we wrote about Viacom’s reactionary strategy of holding its fans hostage by shutting down online streams of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report after DirecTV advised its customers (who just lost access to Viacom shows) to watch them online. It was a childish move that punished a whole lot of fans (not only DirecTV users) just to gain leverage in a contract dispute, and a textbook example of how big media’s shortsightedness drives people to piracy. Nobody was impressed.

So today it’s interesting to hear about a network taking the exact opposite tack. AMC, home of a bunch of popular shows cast somewhat in the HBO mold, was recently dropped from the basic package for Dish satellite subscribers. AMC says that unlike the Viacom/DirecTV situation, they were not asking for more money and this was not a negotiation issue, but rather Dish trying to “gain leverage in an unrelated lawsuit.”

So what is AMC’s response? Well, the much-anticipated fifth-season premier of Breaking Bad, one of their flagship shows, is airing on Sunday—and they’ve decided to set up a special online stream just for Dish subscribers, so they can watch it for free. Meanwhile, they point out that virtually every other satellite and cable provider includes AMC in its basic package, and that several are now offering special sale prices for customers switching from Dish. They even have a toll-free line at 1-855-2DROP-DISH offering more information. For Dish, this is what you call a “PR nightmare”.

But — and here’s where it gets even more interesting — Dish claims they dropped AMC because the company insists they also carry some other less-popular networks bundled with it. That’s why DirecTV says it dropped Viacom, too. It’s a bit of an our-word-against-theirs situation as to the real cause of the conflict, and it’s likely that neither company is entirely blameless. But AMC’s first move was to go straight to the fans with a special offer to give them what they want. Viacom’s first move was to… petulantly punish not only the fans involved in the dispute, but all of their fans.

Both Dish and DirecTV are experiencing backlash—even though some people support DirecTV in the bigger picture, most fans are just reacting to their favorite shows suddenly disappearing, and understandably getting annoyed with their service provider. But while AMC has leveraged the situation as a way to get good PR by offering fans something special, Viacom managed to extract its own dose of negative backlash by further depriving them.

Much like the MPAA, it seems Viacom needs a lesson in communications.

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Companies: amc, directv, dish, viacom

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Comments on “Dropped By Dish, AMC Pulls An Anti-Viacom: Offers Breaking Bad Premiere Free To Dish Subscribers”

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53 Comments
Zos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Fans?

not so much, since in this case, viacom went after precisely the wrong shows the public streams of the daily show and colbert report are used by tons and tons of people who can’t catch the broadcast. Since they’re high quality and without commercials i’ve even been known to watch them instead of pirating the shows the next day.

So..viacom/dish just collectively pissed in the cheerio’s of the colbert nation, and i think it’s been proven by now, that’s not something you should do lightly. it’ll be interesting to see how it’s spun on the new episodes this week, bc i guarantee stephens going to bring it up.

Anonymous Coward says:

blah blah blah pirate mike, blah blah, freetard.

With that out of the way, nice PR move. You know what would be nicer? If they use this as a time to launch a reasonably priced subscription model for their stuff. I know if they do, I’ll gladly give them a few bucks to be able to see Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, etc. instead of having to effectively wait until the next night to see them pirated (since eff subscribing to cable, and it takes long enough to upload that I’m not going to wait up to see them that night).

Anonymous Coward says:

It was a childish move that punished a whole lot of fans (not only DirecTV users) just to gain leverage in a contract dispute, and a textbook example of how big media’s shortsightedness drives people to piracy. Nobody was impressed.

It’s hilarious how you and Pirate Mike love to say that people “were driven to piracy.” You both make it sound like they had no choice and it’s the owner of the right’s fault that some pirate decided to violate their rights. Sorry, but you and Pirate Mike obviously have it completely backwards. Why not blame the party that willfully chose to violate the other party’s rights? Why are you and Pirate Mike such pirate-apologist sacks of shit? Sorry to use curse words, but as far as I can tell, you both deliberately lie about who is truly to blame for piracy. In my opinion, both of you are worthless sacks of shit for pretending like piracy is the fault of anyone other than the pirates. Please go fuck yourselves and die. Thanks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Funny how you can’t deny that the pirates are to blame for their own decision to violate the other party’s rights. Funny how you can’t dny that it’s not the party-who-owns-the-rights’s fault that some pirate decided to violate their rights. Funny how you can’t deny that Pirate Mike and Leigh “Marcus Douchebag Carab” Beadon are sacks of shit who would look their own grandma’s in the eye and lie while they were stealing dollar bills (loonies for you, Marcus!) out of their grandma’s purse. Yeah, Techdirt isn’t the homebase to thousands of pirates. Whatever you say.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I dub thee, Charlie Brown’s troll teacher. Congrats. Or in your language, “wah wah wah, grrr, wah wah, freetard, wah wah, wah, wah wah wah, thief!”

(And no, I have no interest in trying to have a civil debate with someone like you, I’m far too smart to be dragged into that. I’ll just happily sit back and laugh at your efforts to troll)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

this is cool, it motivates me so much more to support the digital rights of *consumers* to see that mike’s intelligent and spirited support has opponents as riled-up and pissed off as you are. you’re giving a face to the “bad guy” in this argument, thus making it ever-so-much-more exciting.

maybe the CIAA (consumer’s industry association of america) can lobby congress for a law that extends the amount of time we own a dollar to 70 years after we first get it, and make it apply retroactively. so all those dollars we “steal” from the content industry won’t technically be stolen anymore, as you’ll still own the “rights” to those imaginary dollars. and the rights to any money we “pay” you will still be owned by us for the same period. after all, most of us put our heart and soul into earning those dollars, we can’t give them away like that.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Can we have an ‘out troll’ button that lets people with enough ‘report’ clicks to have their IP addresses exposed? Say about 2x what it takes for them to be ‘censored’ – sorry, hidden. Then they might think twice about how much childish vitriol they spew. Even a unique identifier like “Dumb Troll #3323413”

If they get 5x then any time they come back they are labelled either by IP or identifier for good.

Jimbo Bones says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I wonder if he realizes that he is doing more to harm the pro-copyright movement than anyone else on this site possibly could. People having second thoughts about downloading will read the hate fueled vitriol he spews and decide that perhaps they are justified in doing so. It’s why I can’t help but grin from ear to ear every time I read pretty much anything he posts. You see it all the time with hard line fundamentalists behind any movement. The general public might have been open to what they have to say, but because of the way they say it, they end up driving all potential supporters away. I say let him have at it and thank him for the support lol. 🙂

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re:

i’m starting to think you had a bad childhood experience with a pirate, like maybe a costumed birthday entertainer from a disreputable company who showed up drunk and spent a suspiciously long time upstairs with your mom, or a pet parrot that said “i’m going to kill you” but only when nobody else was in the room.

Two words: therapy, yarrr!

RD says:

Re: Re:

“Sorry to use curse words, but as far as I can tell, you both deliberately lie about who is truly to blame for piracy. In my opinion, both of you are worthless sacks of shit for pretending like piracy is the fault of anyone other than the pirates. Please go fuck yourselves and die. Thanks.”

So, what you are really saying is, when you were a kid no one would share their toys with you or play with you, and now you are an angry, bitter waste of human flesh because instead of maybe trying to learn why no one wanted to be around you and change the situation, you just skipped right on over to “it’s everyone else’s fault,” stamped your feet, and now live your life a bitter exile that no one takes seriously and immediately hit “report” when they see you coming because they know all they are going to hear is hateful, irrational bile spewing from your cakehole.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Why are you and Pirate Mike such pirate-apologist sacks of shit? Sorry to use curse words, but as far as I can tell, you both deliberately lie about who is truly to blame for piracy. In my opinion, both of you are worthless sacks of shit for pretending like piracy is the fault of anyone other than the pirates. Please go fuck yourselves and die. Thanks.

Is this the type of rhetorical debating style they teach in third tier law schools these days? If so, you should demand your money back.

techflaws (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You both make it sound like they had no choice and it’s the owner of the right’s fault that some pirate decided to violate their rights.

Of course they had another choice: not pirate it, tell Viacom to shove it, and spend their money elsewhere. And guess what, Viacom would even be worse off due to the far lesser buzz created around their shows because of the decreased viewership. That’s hilarious.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s hilarious how you and Pirate Mike love to say that people “were driven to piracy.” You both make it sound like they had no choice and it’s the owner of the right’s fault that some pirate decided to violate their rights. Sorry, but you and Pirate Mike obviously have it completely backwards. Why not blame the party that willfully chose to violate the other party’s rights? Why are you and Pirate Mike such pirate-apologist sacks of shit? Sorry to use curse words, but as far as I can tell, you both deliberately lie about who is truly to blame for piracy. In my opinion, both of you are worthless sacks of shit for pretending like piracy is the fault of anyone other than the pirates. Please go fuck yourselves and die. Thanks.

When someone breaks into your house and steals your TV, they’re a horrible person and should be punished. When two million people break into your house and steal your TV, you need to start looking for the common thread. (Hint, it’s not that they wanted your TV.)

Adam says:

Much like the MPAA it seems that Viacom needs a lesson in reality.

All of these media companies need to get it out of their heads that consumers owe them money just because they created something entertaining once upon a time. The signal to noise ratio is ridiculous. The endless advertising doesn’t help. Both problems need to be solved in a way that improves the situation for consumers or the market is going to start to implode.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m a DirecTV subscriber but I haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary yet. My schedule has been out of sync from prime time for years, common among shift workers. I don’t even bother to DVR my shows, much easier to just download a torrent and keep them on an external hard drive. Watch at work, in the garage, or anywhere for that matter. This whole spat has got me talking to the wife about cutting the cord altogether. I don’t remember that last time we watched a show at its scheduled time. I won’t miss the 2am channel flip through infomercials.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I cut the cord long ago and there were 2 things I noticed I had to do:

1) Have a system on-hand to stream media throughout my house
2) Have collections of certain TV and movies to pull up at any time, to help with the times where I would sit down and flip through the channels until I found, say, Rocky 4 to watch for a half hour.

Other than that, I couldn’t be happier.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wish there was a way to kickstarter this, if profit is all these legacy companies think about, imagine there big round eyes when they see a lump sump bonus from the donation, for their “good behaviour”

The real kisser is, as long as alot of people feel the same way, theres no need to contribute a fortune

I can imagine other companies minds ticking if something like that happened, they might actually start to give us what we want, and imagine the publicity

I know, foolish fancies, but one can only hope something or someone comes along to turn the tide

Anonymous Coward says:

There is only one answer to Viacom’s behavior. Boycott them HARD! Do without! ll them shows will become available at some later time and will be even more enjoyable not having to FF through commercials or worse, watching them! Those that do not boycott them should be ashamed of themselves for not being a “RESPONSIBLE CONSUMER”!!!

Others to Boycott
Sony: Rootkits, Frivolous lawsuits, Consumer Fraud
Walgreens: Outsourcing hundreds of American jobs overseas! (Network/IT/Accounting)
AT&T: Outsourcing hundreds of American jobs overseas! (All Departments)
R.I.A.A.
Illinois/Cook County/Chicago: Extortion through taxes, Coruption at the highest levels of government. Patrick Quinn, “Need I say more?”

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