AMC used "The Walking Dead" last night to warn DirecTV subscribers they may no longer be able to watch the show due to a contract dispute.
During Sunday night's episode, AMC ran spots and graphics urging viewers to call a hotline and visit KeepAMC.com. While the on-air alerts did not identify DirecTV by name, the website identifies the satellite operator.
DirecTV's agreement with AMC is set to expire at the end of the year, mid-way through the current season of "The Walking Dead," according to an AMC spokeswoman.
"We've had a long, successful partnership with DirecTV and have great respect for their management team and the business they've built. Our goal is to continue our partnership, by renewing our agreement and extending our business relationship well into the future. Unfortunately, DirecTV has not engaged in meaningful negotiations with us, which leaves us to doubt whether a timely renewal is possible," the AMC spokeswoman said in a statement.
The statement added that DirecTV is in violation of its current agreement with AMC, having dropped the network in Latin America.
"We hope to finalize a new agreement quickly, but in the meantime, we think it is important to alert DirecTV customers who care about 'The Walking Dead' that their ability to watch the show on DirecTV is at risk," the AMC spokeswoman said.
DirecTV did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is the latest carriage dispute, with Turner Broadcasting channels like CNN, Cartoon Network and TruTV going dark on Dish Network amid a retransmission battle last month. In September, Suddenlink, the seventh-largest cable operator, removed Viacom's channels from its lineup.