Amid a standoff on carriage talks, satcaster Dish Network is playing hardball with AMC Networks, downgrading the channel positions of its flagship cabler as well as IFC and We TV.
As of midnight, AMC, IFC and We TV moved out of the cluster of general entertainment networks to near the bottom of the channel list near the infomercial outlets. AMC's standard-definition channel had been in the advantageous position of channel 130, but has now been exiled to channel 9609. IFC dropped from 131 to 9608 while We TV sank from 128 to 9607.
Dish and AMC Networks jousting is heating up as the June 30 contract expiration approaches. Dish already dropped AMC Networks' Sundance Channel on May 20.
AMC also raised the stakes in Sunday's episode of "Mad Men," which featured multiple spots warning Dish Network subscribers of the pending loss and urging them to support its campaign to pressure the Englewood, Colo.-based satcaster. Similar spots will run in AMC's "The Killing" and other shows.
On Monday, many Dish subscribers were likely convinced that AMC had been dropped entirely, a week before the "Mad Men" season finale, when they couldn't find the channel in its usual spot.