An update including a response from Dish Network follows below.
Is this AMC’s version of Don Draper’s letter to the New York Times? On Friday (June 7), the cable channel plans to run a “Mad Men”-centric ad in the Wall Street Journal again calling the satellite provider Dish Network on the carpet for threatening to drop AMC from its lineup at the end of June.
The ad — provided early to Zap2it — features the show’s main character, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and a message that reads “You should be getting MAD.” The copy prompts fans of the show to call a number that redirects to Dish’s customer service line or send an email to the network demanding AMC not be dropped.
Last week, during the show’s second-to-last episode, AMC aired an ad asking fans to call Dish Network and demand an explanation for the move. That riled up Dish Network execs, who promptly relocated AMC from channel 130 to channel 9069 in its lineup, prompting calls from viewers who had been watching “The Killing,” but suddenly saw their screens go black.
AMC maintains that Dish is dropping them because of an unrelated legal dispute the two companies are involved in, reports the Los Angeles Times. Dish Network maintains that the decision is based solely on ratings.
“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,” reads a previously released statement from AMC.
We’ve reached out to Dish Network for comment. We’ll update this story if and when one arrives.
[UPDATE: Dish Network spokesman Bob Toev issued the following statement to Zap2it in reply to the ad:
“It’s regrettable that AMC Networks is choosing to run this ad. This is about more than just one show — AMC Networks required us to provide, and charges DISH for, channels beyond AMC, including Sundance, IFC and WE. In aggregate, these channels do not deliver the right value to our customer base for the price AMC Networks demands.
Please note, per our agreement, AMC Networks programming remains on DISH through the end of month, including AMC, IFC and WE.”]