AMC Networks Agrees To New Carriage Deal With Small Cable Systems Co-Op

So much for the National Cable Television Cooperative’s dire warning that many of the 4 million subscribers at the 740 small and medium cable companies it represents might lose AMC Networks. They’ve agreed on a new multiyear deal after extending negotiations beyond the year-end expiration of a previous contract signed in 2010.

Per usual, the announcement is light on specifics about deal terms.

AMC was looking for a price increase of at least 150%, positioning itself as much more valuable than it was in 2010 following a string of hits including Mad Men, The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul. It also wanted NCTC members to carry all its channels which include AMC Network, SundanceTV, IFC, WEtv, BBC America and BBC World News.

Like most new cable programming agreements, this one is believed to offer distributors streaming and VOD rights to AMC Networks shows. AMC also got something it wanted: a long term. The agreement is said to run at least five years as opposed to the common length of about three years.

AMC Networks President of Network Sales Bob Broussard says his company looks “forward to continuing to provide our popular and acclaimed programming to NCTC members and their customers.”

NCTC EVP Programming Judy Meyka says the group appreciates “AMC Networks’ willingness to take the time to understand our members’ unique challenges and concerns and their creativity to construct an agreement that addresses the concerns of many of our members,.

The NCTC chafed at AMC’s earlier conditions: Prior to the agreement, NCTC chief exec Rich Fickle called this “the most challenging deal I’ve seen in four years” — noting that nearly 100 of his member companies, with about 1 million subscribers, were inclined to drop the channels.

One NCTC member, Alaska’s General Communications, told its subscribers last week that it would drop AMC in response to the size of the price increase it wanted.

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