There is some potentially bad news for fans of the record breaking “The Walking Dead” in Western Canada.
Deadline.com is reporting that a complaint has been filed in U.S. Federal court by Telus. Among the claims made by the telecom giant are complaints that AMC has breached an established deal during carriage negotiations by attempting to terminate the contract via a termination letter in late September.
The existing deal between Telus and AMC was signed in 2010 and is supposed to continue through the end of 2014.
Further to the letter that was dated September 27th, AMC reportedly had planned to run a crawl during the season 4 premiere warning Canadians that they wouldn’t see the conclusion of the series unless Telus had agreed to a new deal by October 11th.
As viewers of the episode know, the crawl didn’t happen, but while good news, Canadian fans shouldn’t rejoice too much just yet.
Dish Network, a satellite broadcaster in the U.S. had a similar dispute last year which saw American fans of the shows who relied on the broadcaster to lose The Walking Dead from their systems.
A deal was eventually reached between both sides in the Dish Network dispute, but for over four long months, fans of The Walking Dead had no access to the show on their television sets.
Rogers Communications signed a multi year agreement earlier this year and it’s been reported that AMC used similar tactics during those negotiations.
In the filing, Telus states that AMC is trying to capitalize on what they call fleeting success. They reference the end of another AMC hit show, “Breaking Bad,” and the impending conclusion of a third, “Mad Men” which is scheduled to end it’s run in early 2015.
The Walking Dead drew 16.1 million viewers to the series premiere last weekend and with the time shifted results factored in, that number went to over 20 million.
Even at 16.1 million, The Walking Dead became the highest rated show in AMC’s history. The “Breaking Bad” finale only managed 10.3 million viewers.
For now, Canadian fans of the show and network will be able to continue watching but there seems to be a history of broadcasters complaining of seemingly strong arm tactics used by AMC and their parent, AMC Networks. You may want to keep those episodes PVR’d as it’s possible this “negotiation” could result in a Zombie Free Zone.