Sony has announced a major programming acquisition for PlayStation Vue, adding AMC Channels to its new over-the-top pay-TV service. The network will be added to Vue's basic $50-a-month bundle just in time for the sure-to-be-highly-rated season-five finale of original series The Walking Dead, as well as the final season of Mad Men. WEtv will also be added to the basic channel lineup.
Dish Network made a series of moves Tuesday that are bound to please its multiscreen enthusiast customers.
Keeping on with its rapid addition of channels in its move to stay ahead of the oncoming rush of virtual MVPD players like Sony, Sling TV announced that it has integrated AMC Networks into its core lineup, including its IFC channel.
After blaming slowing TV ad sales in each previous quarter of 2014 on everything from government shutdown fears to Winter Olympics disruption to cold weather, media analyst Michael Nathanson says "excuses are running out" for the worst ad sales quarter since the great recession.
Driven by powerful cable TV programming hits like The Walking Dead, AMC Networks utterly defied downward industry trends in the fourth quarter to post a whopping 40% revenue increase to $609.4 million.
AMC series Better Call Saul--for which Netflix locked in an exclusive-streaming deal once its season is complete--set a ratings record in its Sunday-night premiere. It drew 4.4 million adult viewers in the 18-49 demo for the live broadcast and 6.9 million total. That bodes well for the series becoming a breakout hit--something AMC Networks needs to gain leverage in a rapidly changing media and entertainment landscape. FierceCable has the rundown here.
For an independent programmer like AMC Networks, slugging it out alone in a consolidating pay-TV universe, hit shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead have provided the necessary leverage for growth.
Having slowly edged out the incumbent broadcast networks over the last decade for TV programming's most coveted "Good Housekeeping" symbol, cable networks absolutely dominated the nominations for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards.
With the top four pay-TV services seeking regulatory approvals to combine into just two companies, the major media conglomerates are seriously pondering their own unions to offset what could be an advantage in bargaining power.
More than half a decade and several programming executive regimes ago, AMC found instant brand-building in a bottle--twice--with original series hits Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Now AMC is looking to produce its content in-house.