Earlier this month, we reported on a complaint made by AMC to the FCC. In the complaint, AMC said that AT&T was showing favoritism to its own networks while putting smaller networks at a disadvantage.
AMC claimed that AT&T wanted to cut back on how much it pays to carry AMC networks and asked the FCC to order AT&T to carry AMC and its networks with rates and conditions in line with what AT&T pays for its affiliated networks like HBO and TNT.
At the time, we shared the response from AT&T that the complaint was “without merit.” Now, AT&T has made a full response, submitting an “Opposition to AMC Network Inc.’s Petition for Temporary Relief.” (You can read the full, redacted filing here.)
In its response, AT&T said that granting AMC’s request would be “overriding A&T’s business judgment” and forcing the company to into “overpaying AMCN for content that is not popular enough to justify the fees it is demanding.”
Some of the AMC networks that AT&T has deemed “not popular enough” include BBC America, IFC, We TV, and Sundance TV, along with AMC+. Throughout the filing, AT&T compares AMC networks to HBO, saying the network is “targeting and securing more, high end programming than AMC,” making it a more worthwhile investment.
When comparison AMC+ to HBO, AT&T said HBO “launched in 1972, has established itself as the premier premium channel, is available on every major MVPD except for DISH, and offers a popular array of original content. AMC+, by contrast, launched two months ago!43 It is only available on DISH (satellite and SlingTV) and Comcast, and offers content already available through other AMCN products.”
While AMC argued that AT&T was discriminating against smaller networks, AT&T says that there is “no economic analysis to support its assertion” and showed redacted numbers to prove how much the company would lose by carrying the networks without reducing rates paid to AMC.
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