TDS taking a stand against AMC in contract negotiations

TDS Telecommunications (TDS®) announced today it could be forced to drop a collection of television channels owned by AMC Networks on January 1, 2016 after AMC proposed terms and rate increases of up to 350 percent in a contract set to take effect in 2016.

“We want to provide our customers with the best service and programming, but we also want to do so at the best value,” said Kristi Ramsey, director of Content Management for TDS. "We are fully prepared to pay a fair price for the AMC programming our customers want, but when huge companies like AMC Networks demand an unprecedented increase in its monthly fees, we believe it’s our responsibility to take a stand for our customers."

AMC Networks is demanding a 10-year contract, as opposed to the industry standard three- to five-year agreement, and forcing the carriage of additional, lower-rated channels for members of the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), which includes TDS Telecommunications and M.C.T. Communications Corporation d/b/a TDS. The contract includes rate increases of up to 350 percent in the first year for some NCTC members.

“AMC is home to the popular show, The Walking Dead, which is currently on a mid-season break in its sixth season, but TDS cannot accept a 10-year agreement based on the value of one popular program that will likely end during the industry standard three- to five-year term for programming agreements,” Ramsey said.

TDS will continue to carry AMC, IFC, WeTV, BBC America and BBC World through the end of the year. If an agreement cannot be reached before midnight (ET) on December 31, 2015, TDS will be forced to drop these channels from the lineup on January 1.

“We are prepared to help our customers find new episodes of their favorite shows using other technologies and services like Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and AMC’s own website,” Ramsey said. “These episodes are often available within 24 hours of airing live.”

TDS is one of hundreds of other cable operators, representing millions of subscribers nationwide, that is fighting for reasonable terms for customers. TDS will continue to try to reach an agreement with modified terms that will allow the company to continue providing these channels.

“TDS works hard during every contract negotiation,” Ramsey said. “We won’t let unreasonable terms and prices sacrifice the best interests of our customers.”

For the latest on the AMC contract negotiations, please visit TVonmyside.com.

For more information contact: Krista Ledbetter | Associate Manager - Public Relations | TDS Telecom | 608-664-2518 | krista.ledbetter@tdstelecom.com

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom/TDS®) delivers high-speed internet, TV entertainment, and phone services to nearly 900 rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities across the U.S. With more than 1.2 million connections, TDS is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the United States. Powered by fiber-optics and new industry-leading technologies, TDS delivers up to 1 Gigabit internet speeds and offers internet-protocol based TV entertainment solutions along with traditional phone services. TDS also offers businesses VoIP advanced communications solutions, dedicated internet service, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit tdstelecom.com.

TDS Telecom, headquartered in Madison, Wis., employs nearly 2,700 people and is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS], a Fortune 1000® company. Founded in 1969, TDS Inc. employs 9,400 people and has approximately six million connections nationwide through its businesses U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions LLC, and TDS Broadband Service. TDS Inc. has been named to several Forbes lists, including America's Best Employers for Diversity, Best Large Employers, and Best Employers for Women. Visit tdsinc.com.

Updated February 2019

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