Long live “The Walking Dead”!
Rick Grimes, Lori Grimes, and all the cosmetically challenged in their corner of television Zombieland most likely had a bigger audience than usual this Sunday because of the announced settlement of the Voom HD Holdings LLC v. EchoStar Satellite LLC lawsuit.
On the Voom HD side of the suit were AMC Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AMCX) and the Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC); on the EchoStar side of the suit was the Dish Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH).
Dish replaced three of AMC Networks channels -- AMC, IFC, and WE tv -- on June 30, so the 14.06 million subscribers to the No. 3 pay-TV service in the U.S. had been unable since then to enjoy such award-winning AMC shows as “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” and, of course, “The Walking Dead.”
Under the agreed terms announced separately by the two sides in the case:
-- Dish will give $700 million to AMC Networks and Cablevision.
-- Dish will receive 500 MHz of wireless multichannel video distribution and data service, or MVDDS, spectrum licenses in 45 major metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
-- Dish will enter into long-term distribution agreements with AMC Networks to carry AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, and WE tv, as well as with the Madison Square Garden Co. (Nasdaq: MSG) to carry Fuse, on its satellite service.
-- Dish will convey its 20-percent membership interest in Voom HD to Rainbow Programming Holdings LLC, so that all of the cash settlement remains with AMC Networks and Cablevision.
Maybe the most important aspect of the deal (at least in the eyes of certain television fans) was the one leading Dish to resume distribution of AMC -- and “The Walking Dead” -- this Sunday.
Other AMC Networks programming, such as IFC, Sundance Channel, and WE tv, will return Nov. 1, when the Madison Square Garden Co.'s music-oriented Fuse channel will make its debut on the satellite-TV service.
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