AMC Networks US ad revenue jumps 13% – The Hollywood Reporter

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AMC Networks said on Friday that its advertising revenue in the United States increased in the second quarter and said it has seen continued growth in the number of streaming subscribers.

Domestic advertising revenue rose 13% to $ 212 million “due to higher prices and ad-supported streaming growth, partially offset by a reduction in the number of episodes of our original programming and a reduction in the number of episodes of our original programming. lower ratings, ”the company said.

Domestic subscription revenue rose 14% to $ 427 million, said the company behind networks AMC, IFC and Sundance Channel, as well as niche streaming services like horror-centric Shudder. This included a “one-time beneficial impact of renewing a distribution agreement”. Without it, distribution revenues would have increased by 10 percent.

Aggregate domestic revenues rose 14% to $ 639 million, while “international and other” revenues jumped 53% to $ 138 million. This was led by a 75% improvement in advertising, “largely related to higher prices, better ratings and the favorable impact of foreign currency conversion”, while distribution and other income increased by 48%.

The company’s total quarterly revenue increased 19% to $ 771 million, while operating profit jumped 40% to $ 68 million and adjusted operating profit climbed 11% to $ 251 million.

“AMC Networks had a strong second quarter with impressive financial results nationally and internationally, driven by robust revenue growth from our targeted streaming services, particularly strong advertising growth and strong demand for our world-class content. Said AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan. “We continue to advance our position as the world leader in targeted streaming, with strong subscriber satisfaction and high consumption of our services. AMC +, our premium bundle, has quickly become our fastest growing service, thanks to expanding cast and the strong, character-driven dramas that fuel it. “

In the second quarter, the firm made its black comedy debut Kevin Can F— Himself, with Annie Murphy, on AMC + and AMC.

Sapan added, “Our streaming momentum and expanding advertising efforts allow us to continue to significantly rebuild the revenue mix of our business and ensure continued growth and shareholder value. “

On Friday’s earnings conference call, Sapan said the company has completed one of its strongest initial advertising seasons in history, touting this as a sign of the appeal of content and brands. the company.

Sapan also hailed Bob Odenkirk, the star of AMC’s hit show. You better call Saul which previously appeared in its breaking Bad, after his recent heart attack. “It’s almost impossible to spend time with Bob without developing a great affection and appreciation for his talents, his wit and who he is as a person. We are very happy that he is on the mend … and wish him the best for his recovery. “

COO Ed Carroll praised the success of a new distribution strategy the company used to London gangs. After debuting on AMC + in October, it switched to the linear network this spring, “and this exposure sparked a second wave of keen interest in the series on AMC +, where the number of viewers of the title and its ability to attract new customers have doubled “. The company will look to take advantage of this ability to use both linear and digital distribution points in a beneficial way, he said.

Sapan also praised AMC for ending the flagship The walking dead series, while continuing three other shows in the franchise, highlighting that this type of franchise management contributes to aspects such as “vitality, freshness, new ideas, longevity and cost”. He added: “The Walking Dead the franchise is – this will sound silly – alive and well while it’s dying. And the firm is “incredibly enthusiastic” about the franchise. “We believe that the best time is ahead of us to The walking dead, not to mention the films that will be in our future.

Asked about the potential future of other AMC franchises, Sapan mentioned Kill Eve, whose Season 4 is set to be the last, as AMC and producer Sid Gentle Films seek to develop ideas for potential spinoffs. “We have all the opportunities, if we choose to determine that there is a future for this in a franchise way,” he said. “We have creative discussions going on as to whether the evil agencies that control the assassins are good guidelines or whether the assassins themselves are good guidelines, but… we control the franchise,” said Sapan.

On breaking Bad and You better call Saul, he noted the company’s “very, very strong relationships” with creator Vince Gilligan and key players.

A recent settlement around The walking dead the holdings included a 2021 free cash flow forecast revision of about $ 200 million this year to break even due to a cash settlement. Frank Darabont’s lengthy legal battle over profits from the hit series ended in July, with the company agreeing to a nine-figure payment to the former showrunner and his agency, CAA. The settlement resolved all disputes, buying back Darabont and CAA of most of their intellectual property rights in the franchise.

“The Settlement Agreement provides for a cash payment of $ 200 million (the ‘Settlement Payment’) to the plaintiffs and a sharing of future revenues related to certain future streams of The walking dead and Fear the living dead“said a July 16 AM Networks filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall wrote in his overview of the company’s earnings: stable. “

Before the market opened, shares of AMC Networks were up more than 6%.


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