AT&T U-Verse did not immediately drop Rainbow Media channels AMC, IFC and WE TV despite the expiration of their carriage agreement at 9:01 p.m. Pacific Wednesday, as negotiations with Cablevision-owned Rainbow continued.
The split has the potential of leaving U-Verse’s approximately 2.3 million subscribers without the channels.
While these disputes have become more common in recent years, it’s rare for a drop to occur for any length of time. A dispute between Cablevision and Disney involving New York viewers the night of this year’s Oscars was ended minutes after the kudocast began.
On the other hand, DirecTV customers were left without sports network Versus for six months last fall and winter.
With talks ongoing, the next date many observers are watching is July 25, the night that the fourth-season premiere of two-time Emmy-winning drama “Mad Men” airs on AMC. Without a resolution by then, a chunk of U-Verse customers might flee for other options, though “Mad Men” doesn’t attract a large, mainstream audience.