Breaking Badly? How Will Feud with Dish Network Impact Ratings for the Season Premiere of AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad?’

Categories: Cable TV

Written By

July 15th, 2012

Update: the folks who voted in the poll called this one right. Breaking Bad set series highs in its 5th season premiere.

When Dish Network first pulled AMC’s channels (AMC WEtv and IFC) off of Dish when the parties couldn’t reach a new carriage agreement, my guess was that it would all be resolved by July 15 when Breaking Bad marked its fifth season premiere.  Well it’s July 15 and at least so far my guess was wrong and I may now have to change my guess to October 14 when AMC’s legitimate cable ratings hit The Walking Dead returns for its third season.

AMC has somewhat staunched the impact of their impasse with Dish Network for Dish subscribers by streaming the premiere of Breaking Bad free to Dish customers at 10p ET tonight. But I'm guessing that's not going to count in the ratings.

In a different dispute, Viacom has pulled its 17 channels off of DirecTV. There's plenty of anecdotal data that suggests that networks like Nickelodeon and MTV have certainly taken a ratings hit since the channels were pulled. But  many more people regularly watch those networks than AMC to begin with plus DirecTV is in more homes than Dish (~20 million vs. ~14 million).

So what will be the impact be on Breaking Bad's premiere ratings?  Last season Breaking Bad set a record in its premiere with a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating. The season finale, while perhaps epic, did not set a new ratings record and scored a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating. Similarly while the recent season 5 finale of Mad Men set a record in terms of total viewers for a Mad Men season finale (2.7 million) it pulled just a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating. By comparison The Walking Dead's season finale on March 18 scored a massive 4.7 adults 18-49 rating.  So whatever the impact on Breaking Bad is tonight, it won't be nearly as big as it will be if AMC and Dish don't work things out before October 14.

But 14 million homes isn't nothing and while neither Mad Men nor Breaking Bad are anywhere near the same ratings league as The Walking Dead, they are the cream of AMC's ratings crop outside of The Walking Dead.

My guess is Breaking Bad pulls around a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating and the impact of the feud with Dish won't be very clear.  What's your guess?

 

 
  • Hugh

    Series high.

  • city kitty

    I hope Directv holds out with Viacom. I don’t watch any of their channels so I am just fine without them cluttering up the program guide.

  • Nadine

    Depends upon whether you include the customers accepting AMC’s offer of the “livestream” of the premiere. One assumes they will also see the ads, so…..

  • Joe

    @Walt

    well i could have quite many fav shows wich i love equal can I?

  • Fake Me Out

    Just to be a counter weight … 0.7 or less

  • Tony

    Does AMC sell ads based solely on 18-49 like the broadcast nets do? I always thought they targeted slightly older, perhaps 25-54?

  • rick

    Until consumers are able to choose the channels they want (ala carte) these problems won’t go away. If people don’t want AMC or MTV, let them opt out. People who DO want to see those channels will need to pay more for them, but those people may not want ESPN or other channels so they save on that end. If operators are not able to stand up to and the practice of bundling & offer ala carte, more and more people will dump pay-tv and watch higher quality hd pictures with an antenna & watch other things online.

  • merraanga

    hey just because leverage is a vastly inferior show doesn’t mean its not good in its own right.

    think about it this way, Leverage has 348% more Timothy Hutton than any other show on television.

  • J

    Breaking Bad should have a larger following than Walking Dead. IT IS THE BEST SHOW ON TV. Wake up people.

  • joel

    Basic Cable should be free because the channels already have financial support from commercials and the infrastructure is already in place, just like OTA.

  • Nick

    1.0
    This has a huge amount of hype, and it would get 1.1 or above except for the Dish dillemma.

  • Nann

    UMMMMMM….. I am so freaking pissed off! I already hate my DISH NETWORK SERVICE Its outragiously expensive and they lock you into an 18 month contract! I know Viacom and DirectTv are in dispute but watch yourself DISH! KEEP YOUR LOYAL EXISTING CUSTOMERS… NEVER FORGET HOW IMPORTANT THE CUSTOMER IS…AND MAKE SURE THAT EVERY CUSTOMER FEELS THEY WANT TO STAY WITH YOUR COMPANY AND THROUGH THEIR GREAT EXPERIENCE THEY THEN TELL OTHERS ABOUT THE GREAT/OR NOT SO GREAT SERVICE THEY RECEIVED!

  • Jesse

    I think the ratings come from the Nielsen families. Are there any stats of how many of them have Dish? If none do, am I wrong to think there would be no deleterious effect to ratings?

  • Temis

    DishTV better be careful handing out Roku boxes or it’s subscribers might realize that they could get Netflix and drop Dish and save $.

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