A month ago, we began reporting on Dish Network's decision to drop AMC Networks – which includes AMC, IFC, and We – from its lineup. And ever since – a span that includes the now resolved dispute between Viacom and DirecTV – I have personally been heavily editorializing this issue along the lines of: these are all signs of the coming cord cutting revolution.
Well, I still do believe in the basic argument, which is that the proliferation of media distribution channels and technology advancements surely will mean massive disruption in the current (expensive for consumers) system of bundling cable network channels into homes.
But I will admit that revolutions don't necessarily occur overnight.
This ties into paidContent's question as of Day 27 of the Dish vs. AMC standoff: where's the subscriber revolt?
Apparently, after almost a month into the dispute, Dish subscribers are not fleeing the satellite provider's clutches, er, embrace. Or at least not yet.
I would contend though that there are a number of reasons why there hasn't been much of a consumer backlash as of the end of July. First of all, it's the middle of the summer, a time when people are traditionally least tuned into their TVs, let alone business disputes that might impact which cable networks are showing up on their televisions (or not). Additionally, with the kickoff the 2012 London Olympics, the potential attention span for the ongoing standoff is further diluted.
Of course, summer TV keeps getting better each year, exemplified by AMC's Breaking Bad, which is currently airing the first half of its final season. However, even though most TV aficionados would argue, yours truly included, that the saga of Walter White/Heisenberg and Jesse Pinkman is one of the best shows on all of television, it does not get the massive ratings by cable TV standards of The Walking Dead.
AMC's zombies and band of human survivors return for a third season in October, just at the time when folks' attention is off the bbq-ing and lawn chairs and back to the flat screen (where it should rightfully be).
Long story short: it's in Dish's interest to get right with AMC Networks and get the channels back into their lineup by the fall, or the revolution that we are still actively prognosticating will inch up its timeline by a few notches.