Bloomberg News

AMC Chief Says Channel Is Worth Triple Current Subscriber Fee

December 07, 2011

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- AMC, the cable network home to “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead,” said it merits subscriber fees from pay-TV systems that are more than triple its current rate.

AMC deserves 75 cents for each subscriber, Josh Sapan, chief executive officer of parent AMC Networks Inc., said today at an investor conference in New York. The network receives 24 cents a subscriber, according to Advertising Age.

The TV network, which five years ago began adding original programming to a line-up of classic films, deserves higher monthly fees based on ratings, audience engagement and viewers’ perception of value, Sapan said at UBS AG’s global media and communications conference.

“We’re a different animal than we were,” Sapan said. “AMC is way underpriced for what it actually is today.”

The network, also home to “Breaking Bad,” has about 95 million U.S. subscribers, Sapan said. At the higher rate, AMC would collect about $855 million a year compared with $273.6 million annually, based on the 24 cent estimate.

AMC Networks is constantly renegotiating terms with pay-TV carriers, Georgia Juvelis, a spokeswoman for the New York-based company, said in an interview. Contracts expire on a rolling basis and Sapan’s comments weren’t directed at a specific carrier, she said.

AMC Networks fell 0.4 percent to $35.01 at the close in New York. The stock is little changed since it began trading in June.

--Editors: Niamh Ring, James Callan

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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