In the world I live in, it's not considered "best practice" when a company founder all but invites his or her customers to go screw themselves.
Apparently, Dish Network Chairman and co-founder Charlie Ergen, based out of Englewood, Colorado, lives in a different world than the one that I and the rest of the TV viewing nation resides in.
As we've been reporting, Dish Network is in an ongoing dispute with AMC Networks, with the result that the satellite cable provider has yanked AMC (which includes AMC, IFC, and We) programming for its 14 million customers for 40 days and counting now.
The specifics of the dispute – money (of course), an unrelated pending lawsuit, AMC's claim that Dish is not seriously interested in making a deal – is much less interesting to me than the fact that Dish's paying customers (who may pay more than $100 per month, on top of initial installation and hardware fees, for the America's Everything Pak) are locked out from receiving what is arguably the basic cable channel with the best programming today.
Except Ergen doesn't seem to care about that.
“They’re critically acclaimed," he said of AMC shows to investors on an earnings call Wednesday. "But not viewed as much by our audience. And our customers can go to iTunes and get ‘Mad Men’ the same time it’s on.”
Great point, Mr. Ergen. Your customers can purchase episodes of Mad Men and Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead on iTunes. Which they can also do if they were also not paying your company at the same time.
Oh, and also: way to go in claiming that your customers are not interested in "critically acclaimed" content. That is up for 34 Emmys this year.
Or critically acclaimed content which also happens to be a breakout smash ratings hit (see: The Walking Dead). Which is to say nothing of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, both series that many would consider to be in the final running for best television show on the air today (and, perhaps, of all time).
But then it gets even better. “I’ve had satellite television for as long as satellite television has been around," Ergen went on to say. "And there’s never been one minute that I know of anybody in my family, or anybody who’s came to my house, has ever watched one second of any of those channels.”
Bravo with the anecdotal evidence backing up the screwing over of your 14 million customers, Mr. Ergen.
In related news, the scintillating final season of Breaking Bad can be seen on AMC – if you have access to it – Sunday nights at 10/9c.