Telus sues AMC over threatened shutdown in contract dispute

Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:27pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO Oct 15 (Reuters) - Canadian telecom company Telus Corp is suing AMC to stop the maker of hit television shows "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" from withholding its content by the end of the month as it pushes for higher fees, a legal filing showed.

In the complaint, dated Oct. 11 and filed in a New York court, Telus said AMC is using strong-arm tactics to renegotiate terms of a long-standing deal, and that, contrary to AMC's claims, it has never breached the terms of that deal.

The Western Canada-focused company, which had about 750,000 television subscribers at the end of June, said that AMC had itself breached the agreement between the two parties, by attempting to terminate it without proper notice or justification.

AMC said it does not comment on pending litigation.

AMC, owned by AMC Networks, is riding a wave of popularity for several of its shows and is seeking to increase the amount it charges TV distributors to carry them.

Its cult zombie horror series, "The Walking Dead," drew its largest ever audience last weekend, with 16.1 million people watching the series premiere of one of America's most popular TV shows.

The company last month won an Emmy award for best drama for "Breaking Bad," about a meth-dealing high school teacher.

But Telus noted that series has ended its run and "Mad Men," another popular AMC show about the New York advertising world in the 1960s, is due to wrap up in early 2015.   Continued...