AMC Networks Swings to Q4 Profit on Streaming Gains

Brian Steinberg
·2 min read

AMC Networks said it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter despite a decline in revenue as it narrowed losses in its international and other operations due to an increase in revenue from streaming-video subscriptions.

The owner of the AMC, Sundance and IFC cable networks said net income came to $2.09 cents a share, or $94.7 million, compared with a loss of 15 cents a share, or $8.58 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue was essentially flat at $780.3 million. The company is known primarily for making TV series like “The Walking Dead

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Like other media companies, AMC placed new emphasis on its ability to lure subscribers to watch its growing streaming-video services, even as it grapples with tough conditions for its traditional businesses spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it ended 2020 with more than six million subscribers to its various broadband outlets, which include AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK streaming services, representing growth of 157%.

“Our strategy is providing us with strong tailwinds and we believe there are significant and sustainable opportunities before us as we continue to reconstitute our company,” said Josh Sapan, AMC Networks’ CEO, in a prepared statement.

Revenue at the company’s U.S. networks fell 3% to $571 million, owing to decreases in ad sales partially spurred by coronavirus-related production delays, and a decline in distribution fees. AMC said it had $54 million in write-offs for programming expenses, representing the bulk of the year’s programming write-offs, which totaled $85.5 million.

Revenue at the company’s international and other operations rose 7.5% to $216 million, buoyed by new streaming subscriptions.

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