AMC Networks OTT Business Reduces Q1 Operating Loss

AMC Network May 10 reported a first-quarter (ended March 31) operating loss of $17 million in its over-the-top video and international business unit, which was down 12.5% from an operating loss of $19.2 million during the previous-year period.

Revenue increased 4.3% to $111.3 million from $106.7 million.

The “international and other” segment includes AMC Networks International, the company’s international programming business; IFC Films, the independent film distribution business; and proprietary subscription streaming services, Sundance Now and Shudder.

“Our streaming services, Sundance Now and Shudder, continue to gain traction with consumers,” CEO Josh Sapan said in a statement.

The pay-TV network synonymous for the “Walking Dead” franchise has attempted to diversify through BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” IFC’s “Brockmire,” and “Fear the Walking Dead” and most recently, “The Terror”.

“Our content continues to break through in a cluttered environment,” Sapan said.

Indeed, AMC’s “national networks” unit, which includes AMC, WE tv, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV; and television production business, AMC Studios, saw revenue increase 2.9% to $633 million from $615 million last year. Operating income increased 0.1% to $250 million.

Revenue was driven by a 10.8% increase in distribution revenue to $407 million, which was primarily due to an increase in content licensing revenue as well as an increase in subscription revenue.

Advertising revenue decreased 8.8% to $226 million. The decrease was related to lower delivery as well as the timing of the airing of original programming, partially offset by higher pricing.

Separately, AMC reiterated plans to acquire outstanding shares of RLJ Entertainment it does not currently own for a purchase price of $4.25 per share in cash. Through this offer, AMC would make RLJE a privately owned subsidiary, with a minority stake held by RLJE founder and namesake, Robert L. Johnson.

RLJE, which includes Image Entertainment, Agatha Christie Ltd., and Acorn Productions (including Acorn TV), is currently trading at $4.51 per share.

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