CORRECTED-DISH subscribers could lose 'Mad Men' in dispute

Fri May 4, 2012 2:33pm EDT

By Liana B. Baker and Yinka Adegoke

May 4 (Reuters) - Subscribers to DISH Network Corp could lose TV shows such as 'Mad Men' and 'The Walking Dead' as a result of a dispute between the satellite TV company and AMC Networks Corp over programming fees and a four-year-old lawsuit.

Dish spokesman Bob Toevs said in a statement on Friday that the satellite provider had decided to drop the channels IFC, Sundance, WE and the AMC Network's flagship AMC channel when its contract expires in June. Dish said that AMC was charging too much for its programming and that it also drew low ratings. Dish added that customers could still watch AMC's programming on the Internet on Netflix or Amazon.com.

Meanwhile, AMC said on Friday that "The Walking Dead" was the No. 1 scripted drama with Dish subscribers in the most recent quarter, according to Nielsen Media Research.

AMC first said that Dish planned to drop its programming in a statement on Friday related to a four-year-old breach-of-contract lawsuit that a subsidiary of AMC Networks, called VOOM HD, had brought against Dish. VOOM HD is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages against Dish for improperly terminating a contract in 2008, according to a statement by AMC Networks spokeswoman Georgia Juvelis. The case it set to go to trial in the New York State Supreme Court.

Dish responded that the "VOOM litigation" is a separate matter and that it fairly ended its agreement with the AMC Networks unit, which had not delivered the content it had promised.

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