Thursday, September 05, 2013

AMC - The Walking Dead Network?

Referencing the ratings success of AMC (AMCX-$62.40) cable shows like The Walking Dead and the western Hell on Wheels, chief executive officer Josh Sapan told analysts on the quarterly earnings’ call that the company was expanding original content on its three other channels, too: IFC, home to eclectic comedy shows and independent films; Sundance Channel, devoted to the airing of documentaries, award-winning film classics and scripted dramas; and, We tv, a women’s network showcasing “unscripted” reality shows celebrating everyday women and stars like Joan Rivers or singer Toni Braxton.

“We feel pretty good about the challenge and particularly good about the expansion of our programming initiatives,” said Sapan.

However, the success of several AMC channel shows, such as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead – number one in the coveted 18 – 49 year-old demo group across all broadcast television – hasn’t pushed the ratings dial for all of AMC’s properties. AMC Network was the 11th most-watched cable channel during prime-time as of week-ending August 11, according to data compiled by Nielsen ratings.

Mad Men and Breaking Bad - both in their final seasons - combined with a limited international presence (an anemic $30 million in revenue), suggest near-term prospects for continued growth could be at risk. Initial ratings for new programs belie Sapan’s cozened optimism, too: A new cop drama on AMC, Low Winter Sun, which followed the season-5 return of Breaking Bad, lost close to 60% of its lead-in audience in its debut outing earlier this month.

Editor David J Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

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