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Corporate Feud Threatens 'Mad Men' Season 4 Premiere

July 12, 2010 (4:32 am) GMT
Some 2.3 million subscribers of basic cable AMC may not get to watch the July 25 return of the series because the network's contract with AT and T U-verse will expire.

Although the recent announcement of 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards revealed that "" scores a whooping 17 nominations and AMC ends up with 26 nominations in total, AT&T U-verse still has its doubt. A disagreement between AMC and the Broadband TV operator which had been going on for some time has now reached to the point that subscribers won't get to watch the return of "Mad Men".

The deal between AT&T U-verse and Rainbow Media which owns AMC, WE tv and IFC will expire on July 14 midnight. Rainbow has issued a statement, warning the subscribers that some of its channels may go dark after that. "Mad Men" is due to premiere its fourth season on July 25 and if a new deal is not reached until then, 2.3 million subscribers in the country will lose the chance to watch the return episode.

"It is troubling that AT&T is threatening to yank AMC, WE tv and IFC, and leave their customers without the hottest show on television, AMC's Mad Men, just before the premiere of the new season," AMC said in a statement. "AT&T is acting in an aggressive manner that puts their corporate interests ahead of their customers. We are negotiating in good faith with AT&T and are hopeful that we can reach an agreement as soon as possible so that our viewers don't lose out."

On the other side, AT&T felt like AMC was giving the unreasonable demands. "Based on aggregate data we obtained from third party industry sources and our own subscribers, some of the Rainbow channels are among the least-watched and most overpriced per viewer compared to other major programming providers," a spokeswoman said.

"They're also trying to force the renegotiation of a contract for one of their other channels that is not yet expired and force us to carry a new channel that wasn't even formally presented to us until after the recent July 1 contract extension. We want our customers to know that we can't and won't give in to unreasonable deals that unfairly disadvantage our customers."

There is still no word from both parties as of Sunday, July 11.

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