AMC Networks

Not to be confused with AMC Theatres.
AMC Networks Inc.
Traded as NASDAQ: AMCX
  • 1980 (1980) (as Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC, a division of Cablevision)
  • 2011 (2011) (as AMC Networks)
Key people
Revenue Increase US$2.58 billion (2015)[1]
Increase US$582.2 million (2013)[1]
Increase US$290.2 million (2013)[1]
Total assets Increase US$2.6 billion (2013)[1]
Total equity Increase US$571.5 million (2013)[1]
Owner Dolan family (67% voting stake)[2]
Number of employees
2,197 (Feb 2014)[1]
Divisions AMC
WE tv
IFC Center
IFC Films
BBC America (50% BBC Worldwide)
AMC Networks International

AMC Networks Inc. is an American entertainment company headquartered in 11 Penn Plaza, New York, that owns the cable channels AMC, IFC, WE tv, BBC America (with BBC Worldwide), and SundanceTV; the art house movie theater IFC Center in New York City; the independent film company IFC Films, and the horror-themed streaming service Shudder.

The company was originally launched in 1980 and formerly known as Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Cablevision, but was spun off as a publicly traded company in July 2011. The company is majority-owned and controlled by the Dolan family.[3]


When Rainbow was formed in 1980, it originally included Bravo and SportsChannel New York. As SportsChannel expanded by adding other regional networks, these also became part of Rainbow (see SportsChannel America). When SportsChannel was merged into Fox Sports Net, all of these networks except SportsChannel NY (then Fox Sports New York) were gradually sold off. Fox Sports New York was then transferred to the MSG Media and rebranded MSG+.

Rainbow originally started the Playboy Channel in 1982 as a joint-venture with Playboy; Cablevision would later sell its share back to Playboy.

In 1988, Cablevision merged their cable networks with NBC, giving NBC 50% ownership in Rainbow.[4] Through a series of transactions, NBC's stake was eventually reduced. In 2002, Cablevision sold its share of Bravo to NBC and as part of the deal, NBC gave up its then 20% share in Rainbow.

Rainbow ran the local-minded MSG Metro Channels which launched in 1998, before folding them in late 2005.

The company had also founded Orlando, Florida station WRBW in 1994, which it eventually sold to Chris-Craft in 1998; it was affiliated with the since-defunct UPN, which Chris-Craft owned half of at the time. Chris-Craft later sold its stations, including WRBW, to Fox Television Stations, who currently operates WRBW as a MyNetworkTV station.

In 2005, Cablevision considered spinning off its content subsidiary Rainbow Media as a publicly traded company, and making their core cable business private, but withdrew the plan. In 2006, a new plan emerged to privatize all of Cablevision, including Rainbow Media. In January 2007, with no word on if the privatization would go through, Liberty Media expressed interest in acquiring Rainbow Media from Cablevision.

Rainbow Media also formerly owned the music channel Fuse; the channel became a part of MSG Media in 2010, as Madison Square Garden was also spun off as a public company. Rainbow Media also owned Wedding Central which was shut down the same day AMC Networks went public.[5]

On March 10, 2011, Cablevision, as approved by its board on December 16, 2010, announced that Rainbow Media would be spun off as a publicly traded company, AMC Networks, later in 2011, and, as said in 2005, making their core cable business private. Rainbow Media's former president Josh Sapan serves as the president and chief executive of AMC Networks[6] which went public on July 1, 2011.[7]

2012 Dish Network carriage dispute

On May 4, 2012, Dish Network announced that it would no longer carry the AMC Networks family of cable channels upon the expiration of the satellite provider's distribution agreement with the company at the end of June 2012, citing that AMC Networks charged an excessive amount in retransmission consent payments from the service for their carriage and low audience viewership for the channels.[8]

AMC Networks responded to Dish Network's announcement of its pending removal of the channels as being related to a 2008 breach of contract lawsuit against Dish Network by former company parent Rainbow Media's Voom HD Networks (which is pending trial in the New York State Supreme Court), in which it is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages against Dish Network for improperly terminating its carriage contract; Voom's high-definition channels were carried on the provider from May 1, 2005 until May 12, 2008 when Dish removed ten of Voom's fifteen channels from its lineup and the five remaining channels the following day. Dish Network stated that the lawsuit is unrelated to the decision to remove the AMC Networks channels and that it ended the carriage agreement on its own terms.[8]

On May 20, 2012, Dish Network removed Sundance Channel from its channel lineup. Two weeks later on June 4, 2012, Dish relocated AMC, WEtv, and IFC to higher channel positions with AMC being split into two separate standard definition and high definition channel feeds (AMC moved from channel 130 to channel 9609 for the SD feed and 9610 for the HD feed, WEtv moved from channel 128 to channel 9608 and IFC was moved from channel 393 to channel 9607); the former channel lineup spaces occupied by the three channels were respectively replaced with HDNet, Style and MoviePlex multiplex channel Indieplex. The move is believed to be in response to an ad run during a June 3 airing of an episode of Mad Men urging Dish Network customers to inform the company to keep the three AMC Networks channels on the satellite provider, with Dish Network stating that the relocated channel positions better reflect the channels’ ratings.[9]

On July 1, 2012, Dish Network dropped AMC, WEtv, and IFC from the channel line-up altogether.

On July 12, 2012, AMC said in an e-mailed statement that it would stream over the Internet the season premiere of Breaking Bad to Dish customers.[10] "Dish subscribers can register online starting July 13 for the show, which airs on July 15. We want to give Dish customers an extra week to switch providers so they can enjoy the rest of the season."[11]

On October 21, 2012, AMC Networks announced a settlement was reached between them, Cablevision and Dish in which Dish was forced to pay up to $700 million in damages to Cablevision for damages from removing Voom owned channels off the Dish lineup back in 2008, and in return Dish signed a new agreement to bring the AMC Networks owned channels back on the Dish lineup with AMC returning October 21 and the rest on November 1.[12][13]

Acquisitions and Joint Ventures

AMC Networks International f/k/a Chellomedia

On October 28, 2013, AMC Networks announced it would acquire most of Chellomedia, an international operator of cable networks, from Liberty Global for around $1.04 billion. The acquisition did not include Chello Benelux, owners of Film1 and Sport1.[14] On February 2, 2014, the transaction was completed.[15] What was formerly Chellomedia will now be known as AMC International and will allow AMC Networks to distribute its programming worldwide.[16]

BBC America joint venture

On October 23, 2014, AMC confirmed it had purchased a 49.9% stake in BBC America, with BBC Worldwide retaining the remaining share of the network.[17] The joint venture will also give AMC operational control in BBC America, which will be managed as a stand-alone from AMC's other channels.[18][19][20]


In 2015, AMC Networks, along with Upfront Ventures, Daher Capital, Northgate Ventures, invested a round of funding in the Latin YouTube network MiTú.[21][22]




Joint Venture

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Form 10-K: AMC Networks Inc.". EDGARSecurities and Exchange Commission. December 31, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  4. Fabrikant, Geraldine (December 23, 1988). "The Media Business; NBC and Cablevision Plan Joint Programming Venture". The New York Times.
  5. Umstead, Thomas (July 8, 2011). "AMC Networks Divorces Wedding Central". Multichannel News. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  6. James, Meg (March 10, 2011). "Cablevision moves forward with spinoff of AMC Networks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  7. Lieberman, David (June 30, 2011). "AMC Networks Goes Public With Hot Shows, And Analysts Looking For A Sale". Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  8. 1 2 Baker, Liana B.; Adegoke, Yinka (May 4, 2012). "Corrected: DISH subscribers could lose 'Mad Men' in dispute". Reuters. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  9. Lieberman, David (June 4, 2012). "Dish Network Kicks AMC Networks Channels To Nosebleed Section Of The Dial". Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  10. Blessing, Kelly (July 12, 2012). "AMC to Stream 'Breaking Bad' Premiere to Dish Customers". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  11. de Moraes, Lisa (July 12, 2012). "AMC vs. Dish, Viacom vs. DirecTV: Brawling satellite providers and cable companies take different tactics". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  12. "Cablevision and AMC Networks Announce Settlement in VOOM HD Litigation With DISH Network". AMC Networks. October 21, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  13. "DISH Network and Voom Reach Settlement". Dish Network. October 21, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  14. Chatterjee, Soham (October 28, 2013). "AMC to buy most of Liberty Global's international content unit". Reuters. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  15. The Deadline Team (February 2, 2014). "AMC Networks Completes Acquisition Of Liberty Global's Chellomedia". Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  16. Molloy, Tim (February 3, 2014). "AMC Networks Completes Chellomedia Purchase for $1 Billion". The Wrap. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  17. "AMC Networks and BBC Worldwide Enter Partnership". BBC America. October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  18. Lieberman, David (October 23, 2014). "AMC Networks Pays $200M For 49.9% Of BBC America". Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  19. Steinberg, Brian (October 23, 2014). "AMC Networks To Operate BBC America After $200M Investment". Variety. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  20. Szalai, Georg (October 23, 2014). "AMC Networks, BBC America Deal Is About Premium Content, Executives Say". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  21. Jarvey, Natalie (February 4, 2015). "AMC Invests in Latino YouTube Network MiTu". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  22. Banks, Alicia (February 4, 2015). "Latino YouTube Network MiTu Closes $15 Million in Financing, Hires Demand Media Execs". The Wrap. Retrieved February 4, 2015.

External links

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