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Already being accused of harming Nickelodeon and other kid’s channels, Netflix is now under fire for allegedly devaluing AMC programming. The commentary comes from Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen, who said that the digital distribution of such shows as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead on Netflix are why Dish and AMC haven’t been able to come to terms on a new deal.

Said Ergen:

“One of the things that programmers have done is they’ve devalued their programming content by making it available in multiple outlets . . . Our customers are not really saying ‘we want to pay more money,’ they’re saying ‘we want more flexibility in our programming and we don’t want to pay more.’ . . . We believe the product has been devalued, not that there are not some good programs, but it’s been devalued because you can get it multiple ways and customers have more flexibility to get the programming. It’s not quite the same as if something were exclusive.”

If AMC and Dish are not able to renew their agreement, Dish subscribers will lose access to AMC, the Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC.

Do you think Netflix is “devaluing” content, an accusation that Ergen is hardly the first to throw at the streamer? Is he right to be frustrated that customers have “more flexibility” when it comes to getting the shows they love?

[via Paid Content]

11 Responses to “Dish Chairman: Netflix “Devalues” Content”

  1. Member [Join Now]
    Shemp Howard [shemp-howard]

    The historic problem is that viewers, regardless of the distribution channel, are forced to “subscribe” to “bundles”. As example if subscribers want say children’s programming, *other unwanted* channels are included in the package.

    What the streamers are doing is affording more piecemeal options. So the model is changing to the detriment of the content providers, receiving a free ride. So if a subscriber is not interested in children’s programming, the content provider and distributor get undeserving income as part of the bundle.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    smithdewey [visitor]

    Netflix is a “better” way to get this content. I hardly think that its availability there harms the value of AMC, however. There is still the issue of fresh content, which if I were a subscriber to Dish and they axed AMC they’d be down one customer.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    calddoug [visitor]

    Content only has the value that consumers give it. And since 90% of the content on Dish and Direct TV is total crap, we are sending the message that we only want to pay for what we deem worthy to watch. When I see Hollywood actors, producers and directors living in modest homes, worrying about how they are going to pay the mortgage like the rest of us, then I’ll start listening to this garbage about devalued content. Hopefully it will prompt Hollywood to stop throwing their money into these steaming piles of film I see dripping off the screens every week.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jack [visitor]

    I agree with a previous poster that people are FORCED to subscribe to sometimes many channels that they don’t ever watch. This increases the cost to the consumer since they can’t pick and choose and gives a free ride to the studio that creates the content that these customers don’t care about. I would imagine that if the studio actually got compensated for the number people who actually watched a particular channel, their income would drop dramatically.
    Of course, they would then raise the rates, and at that point the market would decide whether or not they remained in business.

    This is one of the reasons I don’t have cable/satellite service. If I can’t choose the channels I want, then I’ll just watch over-the-air and netflix disks.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Marshall [visitor]

    This guy just made a blunder. Not only is the press release poorly worded (he repeats himself several times yet still makes little sense) but it’s also unlikeable. Never EVER tell your customers that they deserve less choices for the same money. NEVER.

    In short he’s saying that since AMC offers content other ways his customers choose the other way. Which is a way of saying given the choice people would rather not have Dish. That’s the opposite of a good business model.

    Dish will be dead soon. Well a niche anyway. Some people will insist on keeping it but it’s already fading into obscurity.

  6. Member [Join Now] [free-flixsnow]


    As I see it, soon we will be able to customize our selection and watch only what we want to when we want to, so being forced to purchase what we don’t watch is crazy. I don’t watch more than 70% of channels I pay for, so I am always looking at lower cost options.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    DanoFive0 [visitor]

    It is very simple. The Cable and Dish people lock you up in crap you don’t want. To get what you want, you must pay for the crap you don’t want..
    When they get smart and start letting you get what you want, and pay for just that. I will start to think about it then Until then I caned the Cable.. I have NetFlix online. And RedBox.
    And really 95% of the stuff on TV is crap anyway. I don’t miss it at all.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    2317 [visitor]

    This point would have much greater impact if it weren’t coming from the head of “blockbuster” oh I mean Dish network…..Of course he’s going to talk bad about the competition.

    Not only does Netflix draw viewers away from overpriced Cable and Satellite TV, but it’s also a direct competition to thier DVD/Blu-Ray market.

    Can’t see this man liking Netflix at all with them hurting both branches of HIS company.

    Too bad for him that Netflix is and will probably continue to be better than ANY of his services can provide.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Charles [visitor]

    I completely agree that Dish, DirectTV and cable companies force too many package deals that include numerous channels that people don’t want. That’s why Netflix and other streaming options do so well. The package providers need to rethink and change they way they deliver content.

  10. Member [Join Now]

    Dish Network will say anything to get BlockBuster moving again. They are in competition with the very same company that killed BlockBuster to start with. They thought they could put an end to Netflix’s run but they have not been able to do it.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jo Anne [visitor]

    I pay $40 a month for cable Internet and $7.99 for Netflix streaming. It works great for me since I don’t have to pay highway robbery prices for junk cable TV. I get my news via the ‘Net, can watch most TV shows the next day, and if Netflix streaming doesn’t have it, I can usually rent movies from Amazon, often for 99c. After a period where every single DVD I rented from Redbox or Netflix was scratched, some to the point where they were unviewable, I switched to streaming and will probably NEVER rent a physical disc again. And I will only buy a DVD if I absolutely LOVE the movie.