GCI Says It Will Drop AMC, Univision - Broadcasting & Cable

GCI Says It Will Drop AMC, Univision

Alaskan operator cites ‘substantial price increases’
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General Communications Inc., the largest cable operator in Alaska, said it plans to drop AMC and Univision in 2016 because of “substantial price increases imposed” by the networks.

GCI said it will be adding One World Sports, Discovery Family and Outside Television to its lineup.

AMC Networks is in a fee battle with the National Cable Television Cooperative, which represents a group of smaller cable operators, many of which have said they will drop the programmers channels after their current agreement expires Dec. 31.

Operators are trying to resist price increases from programmers at a time when subscribers seem to be particularly price conscious and increasingly have the ability to “cut the cord” and access content from over-the-top streaming services and other forms of digital video.

AMC has been asking for higher fees because since it last negotiated its deals with cable operators, it has invested in original programming and now owns The Walking Dead, television’s most popular show outside of NFL football.

“We know Alaska Walking Dead fans will be disappointed that AMC’s sky-high rates prevent GCI from carrying the show on our traditional TV lineup,” said GCI VP of Content and Product Management Bob Ormberg. “The good news is that our customers have more viewing choices than ever before and GCI has made sure that fans can watch The Walking Dead by other methods with GCI so they won’t miss an episode when season 6 resumes in February.”

The Walking Dead is available via the Vudu app on GCI’s TiVo service, the operator said.

GCI is also offering its TiVo customers a $50 Visa gift card that will let them try out services such as Vudu and Netflix.

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