AMC pushed the panic button this weekend with the launch of KeepAMCCanada.com, a site alerting Rogers cable subscribers that they’re in danger of losing AMC.
While launching a microsite to involve consumers in a bout between a network and cable provider may seem highly unusual, a Rogers representative insisted the negotiations are normal and that the company expects to continue airing AMC.
“These types of negotiations with our programming partners are a normal and important part of our efforts to keep costs down and to provide our customers with the best TV and entertainment programming,” said Patricia Law, public affairs manager at Rogers.
AMC’s senior vice president of corporate communications, Georgia Juvelis, said the company believes it’s important to tell its shows’ fans about the negotiations. “While we are hopeful we will reach an agreement with Rogers Cable that recognizes the popularity of our programming with their customers, we believe we owe it to our loyal viewers to inform them of the potential loss of AMC and its popular shows, including The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad.”
Though KeepAMCCanada.com was launched on the weekend, AMC purchased the domain name on Nov. 19 of 2012, suggesting it has been in some danger of losing one of its Canadian broadcast distributers for several months.
The site prompts Rogers customers to call 1-855-Keep-AMC are greeted with a recorded voice stating, “AMC may be dropped from Rogers Communications television service. You can help keep AMC on your channel lineup.” They are then redirected to a Rogers customer service line. When Marketing called, the Rogers customer service representative was not aware of the dispute.
Rogers took to social media to respond to AMC’s accusation with its @RogersBuzz customer service handle, tweeting, “We have no intention of dropping AMC. We are in negotiations and expect a positive response,” and “We’re surprised and disappointed [AMC] would alarm our customers,” on Sunday. A Rogers Community Manager similarly reiterated the @RogersBuzz tweets to concerned consumers on several forums, including RedFlagDeals.com and DigitalHome.ca.
Rogers has been airing AMC programs since February 2007. Several other carriers, including Shaw, Bell and Telus, currently air AMC in Canada.