AMC Networks Shares Hit All-Time High As Investors Look Ahead To New Shows

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 1:04pm PST

Looks like CEO Josh Sapan‘s comments to analysts addressed whatever concerns investors Josh Sapanhad about AMC Networks’ mixed Q4 earnings report this morning. The company’s stock price opened slightly down but quickly, and steadily, appreciated throughout the morning: … Read More »

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AMC Networks CEO Says His Company Will Benefit As Pay TV Providers Study Costs

By | Tuesday September 24, 2013 @ 8:21am PDT

One knock against AMC Networks as a business is that it may be too small to hold its own when it negotiates deals with cable and satellite distributors. But CEO Josh Sapan says he isn’t worried: With hit … Read More »

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Disney Exec Praises Ad-Supported VOD With Fast Forward Disabled: Cable Show

By | Monday June 10, 2013 @ 8:36am PDT

Disney Media Networks co-Chair Anne Sweeney talked up the controversial idea in a panel of program execs at the opening session of the National Cable Show this morning. Comcast and other cable operators hope to land series … Read More »

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AMC Networks Chief Says TV Advertisers Want Viewer Passion As Well As Ratings

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 8:09am PDT

This is “a new, developing phenomenon,” AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan told investors this morning at the Barclays’ Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference. Although advertisers still crave ratings points, they also increasingly want to reach people who say that “there are only two or three shows I watch and I live and die for them.” The trend is gaining momentum as viewers discover opportunities to binge view shows on pay TV, VOD and streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime. In addition, young viewers become obsessive about programs when social networks such as Facebook and Twitter help to connect them with others who share their passion. As a result, “that favorite stuff in media is emerging as the most important [driver] of value,” Sapan says. That’s encouraging for networks such as AMC — which has high-engagement hits with dramas including Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad. But it’s hard to build a business around the trend: “Good dramatic TV shows aren’t known until they’re on,” he says. And nobody has perfect pitch. “There are many shows that have spectacular television pedigree and the show doesn’t work” while others from untested producers or stars “take off like crazy.” Sapan says he’s encouraged by his upcoming shows including Low Winter Sun (a police drama), Turn (about Revolutionary War spies), Halt & Catch Fire (about the computing boom in the 1980s), and Line Of Sight (a sci-fi drama the AMC chief calls “nuanced and exquisite”). Read More »

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AMC Networks Chief Says ‘Rectify’ Helps Sundance Channel’s Effort To Add Ads

By | Thursday May 9, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT

“We’re paying particular attention to Sundance” because of the campaign to begin folding in commercials — due to take effect toward the end of this year —  AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan told analysts this morning. The company … Read More »

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AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan Made $8.9M In 2012, -22.6%

By | Thursday April 25, 2013 @ 2:07pm PDT

AMC Networks‘ C-suite shouldn’t consist of mad men based on the raises everyone but the CEO received last year. The increase in Josh Sapan‘s non-equity incentives wasn’t big enough to compensate in a drop in stock awards. His … Read More »

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AMC Networks Will Increase Investments in Sundance Channel And Internet Distribution

By | Tuesday February 26, 2013 @ 8:50am PST

These look like interesting defensive maneuvers at a time when cable and satellite companies are threatening to drop little-watched channels. Sundance — which only reaches about 52M pay TV households — would seem to be vulnerable in some negotiations, although AMC Networks says it has recently completed long-term deals with Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. But AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan told analysts today that he recognizes the channel “is undernourished, in need of (investment) and rich in opportunities.” While execs offered few specifics, they noted that on April 22 Sundance will introduce its first fully owned scripted series, Rectify (from the producers of Breaking Bad), and that a second one will be coming as soon as next winter. There’ll be at least two scripted series in 2013 vs one in 2012. In addition, the company just announced that beginning March 4 Sundance will show the first four seasons of AMC’s Breaking Bad. Along with the Sundance investments, AMC is researching online distribution opportunities that “shouldn’t be confused with TV Everywhere” — the industry-wide streaming initiative — Sapan says. The goal is to become “educated and smart” in the possibility of distributing shows directly to consumers. “Think iTunes,” he says.

Related: AMC Networks Misses Q4 Earnings Estimates Following Dish Network Dispute Read More »

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AMC Networks CEO Tells Court He Didn’t Hide VOOM Budget From Dish Network

By | Tuesday October 2, 2012 @ 4:13pm PDT

AMC chief Josh Sapan was under the gun today as Day 3 of the VOOM trial focused on a key question: Did AMC and its former parent, Cablevision, hide from Dish a budget that would have … Read More »

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Will AMC Networks Go Nuclear In Its Battle With Dish Network?

Mad Men AMC

UPDATE, 11:00 AM: AMC Networks tells me that CEO Josh Sapan didn’t mean to leave an impression that he might help digital streaming services – and therefore promote pay TV cord-cutting — if Dish Network drops his channels. He really meant that he would only consider helping another traditional pay TV provider when he responded to a question about how he’ll deal with “other distributors who might want to capture subscribers who want access to (AMC’s) programming.” His answer: “We think that the potential absence of our service and services on any platform by definition creates a sort of competitive opportunity for another platform. It is a very competitive world for multichannel video. So we’ll watch it as it goes. Of course, we’re contemplating it and making all sorts of contingency plans.”

PREVIOUS, 8:40 AM: Talk about Mad Men, or even Walking Dead: AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan vaguely hints this morning that he might promote pay TV cord-cutting if Dish Network follows through with its plan to drop AMC, IFC, WeTV, and Sundance Channel in June. Sapan’s making contingency plans, and they apparently include offering more programming to a streaming service — in effect, encouraging consumers to cancel their pay TV subscriptions. Dish’s decision “creates a competitive opportunity for another platform,” Sapan says. “AMC is among the most critical services one can have to succeed” in pay TV and in the streaming world. “We’re in a fairly strong position.”

Related: AMC Networks Tops Q1 Earnings Estimates As Ad Sales Outpace Rising Costs

It was a pointed rebuttal to Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen’s damaging comment early this week that he plans to drop AMC’s channels because set top box data shows they have low viewership — suggesting that other pay TV providers also might consider them expendable. Sapan says that’s bogus. “We think today AMC in particular is one of the most popular services on the television dial.” The real issue, he says, is that Ergen wants to force AMC to scrap its 4-year-old $2.5B breach of contract suit which involves Dish’s decision Read More »

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AMC Networks’ Josh Sapan To Give MIPTV Keynote

By | Thursday January 19, 2012 @ 8:10am PST

Paris, 19 January 2012 – Josh Sapan, President and CEO, AMC Networks Inc., will deliver a Media Mastermind keynote address on 2 April at MIPTV 2012 (1-4 April). In his address, Josh Sapan will discuss the value of original

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AMC Networks Chief Weighs Programming Revamp: UBS Confab

AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan told analysts at the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference that he’s “exploring changing the mix of content on AMC” based on the recent success of its zombiefest The Walking Dead – and four non-fiction series he plans to introduce beginning next year. He wasn’t specific about how a revamped channel would look, though. “We’ll see how it goes,” he says. It’s easy to appreciate why he wants to shake up people’s perception of AMC. Pay TV companies currently pay about 25 cents a month for each home that receives the channel. But Sapan says that, with its many original shows, in a perfect world it’s “at minimum a 75 cent channel. …. We’re way underpaid.” He’s a realist, though, acknowledging that “we’re not necessarily going to get that tomorrow.” As a result, Sapan talked up his company’s efficient management of costs. For example, he says that his development costs are “modest.” Although it owns most of its non-fiction shows — “they’re not that expensive,” he says — for most of the shows on AMC “we have chosen not to 100% own.” Sapan says that ”it’s about risk appetite. … If a studio partner is going to come in and fund 30-odd percent of the cost, it’s sensible to de-risk that transaction.” Of course he has second thoughts about not seizing the chance to own AMC’s hit Mad Men. He wasn’t convinced that AMC would do so well with a talky series about ad execs in the 1950s and ’60s. ”It took everybody by surprise,” he says. But he was more confident about Walking Dead. ”That ownership decision was the wisest and best one,” Sapan says. Read More »

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AMC Delivers Strong 3Q Profit: But Without ‘Mad Men’, Network Falls Short Of Forecasts

We’ll see whether the Street is more impressed by AMC’s better-than-expected profits, or disappointed in the worse-than-expected revenues. The cable network company reports 3Q net earnings of $40M, up 58.4%, on revenues of $283.9M, up 4.6%. Analysts thought they’d … Read More »

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AMC Networks Shares +6% After 2Q Revenues Beat Analyst Forecasts

The company behind the cable hit Breaking Bad seemed to be breaking good for investors in its first quarterly earnings report since it was spun off from Cablevision in June. AMC reported 2Q net earnings of … Read More »

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AMC Networks’ Stock Opens Below Expectations As Analysts Curb Enthusiasm

By | Friday July 1, 2011 @ 7:48am PDT

Although analysts have high hopes for AMC Networks, the company is having a bumpy start on its first day as a public company. Shares in the owner of AMC, IFC, and We TV are selling for about … Read More »

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AMC Networks Goes Public With Hot Shows, And Analysts Looking For A Sale

Wall Street has high expectations for AMC Networks as it prepares to begin its new life Friday as an independent, publicly traded company. Most, and possibly all, of the analysts following the owner of AMC, IFC, WeTV and Sundance have a “buy” rating on the stock, which Cablevision Systems is spinning off and will trade on NASDAQ under the symbol “AMCX.”

The company’s going public as its biggest channel, AMC, enjoys a hot streak. Mad Men is bidding to become the first series since NBC’s The West Wing to win the Emmy for Best Drama Series for four straight years. If The Walking Dead and The Killing also are nominated, then AMC could become the first cable network to have three candidates in that category. Another AMC hit, Breaking Bad, isn’t eligible this year.

Maxim Group’s John Tinker says that AMC has “done an exceptional” job of commissioning original series as he projects that AMCX will hit $34 in 12 months. He’s concerned, though, that AMC won’t enjoy most of the financial rewards from its hits. For example, Mad Men producer Lionsgate owns the show’s syndication rights. Tinker also fears that AMC’s collection of older movies compete too directly with Netflix. Cable cord cutting “is here to stay,” he says. Read More »

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It’s Official: AMC Networks Goes Public This Month. Will The Dolans Supply The Drama?

It’s no surprise, but significant nonetheless: Cablevision’s board voted to approve the spin off of its programming arm, AMC Networks — which includes cable channels AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, and We tv. It will go public at the end … Read More »

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Rainbow Media To Become AMC Networks After Spinoff, With Sapan As Boss

By | Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 12:24pm PST

Bethpage, N.Y., March 10, 2011 – Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) continues to move forward with the spin-off of its Rainbow Media business. The company announced today that longtime Rainbow Media executive Josh Sapan will become president and chief executive officer of the new public company, and that it

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