We have always pointed to New Years Day as the likely timeframe for needing a new contract or losing the AMC and WE signal. While don't have an agreement in place there has been enough positive discussion over the past 24 hours that AMC Networks (owners of the AMC and WE channels) is not requiring Mitchell Telecom to pull those signals at this time. Negotiations are set to continue through the weekend and we expect an update from our programming partner NCTC early next week.
We apologize again for any issues this dispute has caused you and thank you for your patience and ongoing support. As new developments happen, we will be sure to update this post.
Thanks and Happy New Year!
Letter to cable subscribers potentially impacted by an ongoing programming contract dispute with AMC Networks.
Dear Mitchell Telecom Cable Subscriber:
In the course of our business year, several programming contracts come due for renewal and nearly all of those deadlines are never seen as Mitchell Telecom is able to find terms that satisfy the programmer and fit the needs of our customers. In the past decade, we have had two agreements expire (or very nearly expire) requiring us to notify customers of the possibility they could be losing those channels until an agreement could be reached.
The most recent addition to that group is AMC Networks, which represents two channels on our programming lineup: AMC (Channel 56 / 653) and WE (Channel 54). Without a new agreement before the end of the year, those channels will go dark at midnight 12/31/2015, because of what we consider as unreasonable rate demands and new channel requirements on the part of AMC Networks.
This is a worst case scenario for these contract negotiations and we apologize for the issues this will cause you and your family. We are continuing active negotiations with AMC Networks along with our programming partner, the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), which helps represent Mitchell Telecom and 5 million other cable subscribers across 800 other cable providers at risk of losing the carriage.
We will continue to work to find an agreement that satisfies all the parties involved, while keeping your bill as low as possible. We will post updates as they become available at www.MitchellTelecom.com and if you have questions on this or another matter, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 990-1000.