Fans of The Walking Dead who subscribe to AMC via DirecTv could be in for a shock, if they are supposed to believe the network’s scare tactic that the current season could go into blackout. The network’s agreement with the satellite company expires at the end of this year, and the Walkers are still rampaging. “DirecTV’s agreement to carry AMC expires mid-way through the current season of The Walking Dead. We’ve had a long, successful partnership with DirecTV and have great respect for their management team and the business they’ve built,” AMC announced in an odd passive-aggressive statement. “Our goal is to continue our partnership, by renewing our agreement and extending our business relationship well into the future. Unfortunately, DirecTV has not engaged in meaningful negotiations with us, which leaves us to doubt whether a timely renewal is possible. In addition, DirecTV is in violation of our current agreement, and it has dropped AMC in Latin America. We hope to finalize a new agreement quickly but in the meantime, we think it is important to alert DirecTV customers who care about The Walking Dead that their ability to watch the show on DirecTV is at risk.” This is akin to your mother telling you “Although Daddy and I will be living separately from now on, we both still love you very much and want the best for you. Oh, and by the way, your father’s an a**hole.”
DirecTV has said that its customers “will not miss any of this year’s new season of The Walking Dead or any other shows. AMC is contractually obligated to provide all of its programming for several more months and we intend to renew our AMC partnership at a price that’s fair to our customers. ” As Deadline reports, “The difference between the two statements may hinge on the definition of ‘season.’ The Walking Dead takes a break at the end of November and new episodes resume in February. The current AMC-DirecTV deal expires around year end. That should leave time to reach an agreement before zombie fans have to worry. DirecTV also may not want to be embroiled in a high-profile battle while the Justice Department and FCC consider AT&T’s plan to buy the company.” So it sounds as if DirecTV’s 20 million subscribers will still get to watch zombie-slaying in 2015.