Well, Dish subscribers did miss the return of The Walking Dead, but you have to give them credit for at least realizing that their failure to cover the most popular scripted program in pay TV history was a complete failure on their part. Today, they announced with AMC Networks that their four-month old dispute is now over, suggesting that Dish has finally decided to pay a premium for quality scripted programming over generic ratings data and in the process sending a clear message about pricing that could help define similar contract disputes going forward.
Of course, the story in all this might be short-sighted without a mention of the court case between the two stemming from Dish Network’s dropping of the now-gone VOOM channels. That bit was settled for $700 million–a big chunk of change for the $16 billion company. It is really tough to believe Dish felt a loss was close and they would be forced to pay the full $2.4 billion the prosecution was requesting, so this really seems like a case of subscriber cancellation finally proliferating at Dish.
For those of you curious as to just how big the season three premiere of The Walking Dead actually was–the show returned to 10.9 million live viewers with 18-49 demo numbers ahead of any other non-event show on television that also rivaled NFL games in size. Including the repeat, The Walking Dead scored 15.2 million viewers which is a live+same day record for pay television, beating a record previously held by History’s mini Hatfields & McCoys.