Renewal demands may prompt city to walk away from ‘Walking Dead,’ AMC

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Sunday, Dec. 14, 2015, 11:56 p.m. — Demands by AMC Networks that cable systems begin to carry its less-popular channels, and more than doubling the rate it charges cable TV providers may leave the City of Bardstown little choice than to walk away from the network.

The city’s contract with AMC Networks ends Dec. 31, 2015, and as part of its renewal deal, it is requiring cable carriers to move its less-popular channels from the higher-cost digital tiers to the Expanded Basic tier, which includes channels 23 to 77 on the Bardstown Cable TV system.



According to information found on TVOnMySide.com, AMC is seeking a rate increase of more than 200 percent in some markets and also requiring cable systems to sign a 10-year contract renewal, which is an unusually long term contract for a cable TV agreement.

The City of Bardstown Cable system and more than 700 cable systems across the country face the same Dec. 31 deadline, and AMC has been warning its viewers the channel may go dark.

Negotiations with AMC on behalf of the Bardstown cable TV system are ongoing, but Jeff Mills, city electrical engineer, made it clear at the Bardstown City Council’s working session Dec. 1 that there’s no guarantee that the Bardstown cable system will keep the network. The city’s cable TV programming committee will discuss the matter at its meeting Wednesday at Bardstown City Hall.

RATE INCREASES. Due to increases in the cost of programming, city cable TV rates are expected to be adjusted in February, though not all customers will necessarily see an increase.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the city council will consider a move that will actually lower the cost of basic cable, lower the set-top box rental rate, and create a optional, less expensive non-sports “family tier” which will remove sports programming from the cable TV package.

The council is also looking at doubling the speeds and raising the rates for its Internet service as a way to offset the some of the increases in TV programming costs for individuals who subscribe to both the cable TV and Internet services.

The council’s cable and electric committee will meet Monday afternoon at City Hall to prepare a recommendation for the 2016 cable TV rates.


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