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Breaking Bad: How Big Was It? And Did the AMC-Dish Feud Hurt?

Breaking Bad Ursula Coyote/AMC

Doomed or not, Walter White is a survivor.

Breaking Bad's fifth, and final, season premiere was unbroken Sunday by a dispute between its network, AMC, and the satellite service Dish Network.

The show averaged a series-best 2.9 million viewers, AMC said.

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Last summer, the Emmy winner kicked off its fourth season before 2.6 million.

Amid a fee dispute, Dish pulled the plug on AMC on July 1.

AMC offered Sunday's premiere to shut-out Dish subscribers via its Website. The network did not say how many views the show received there.

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Dish is said to have 14 million subscribers, though not all of them were AMC viewers, as the network, which reaches 97 million U.S. households overall, was not offered in the service's most basic package.  

Rather than fall victim to the Dish blackout, it's possible Breaking Bad benefitted from the Netflix effect just like its network sibling Mad Men.

The retro drama's most recent season was its most-watched, something that's been attributed to that series' entire catalog of past episodes being available on Netflix streaming, just as Breaking Bad's are.

Meanwhile, there's been no glaring ratings impact on the Viacom-owned cable networks, including MTV and Nick, which lost its DirecTV base last week amid similar circumstances to the AMC vs. Dish war.

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