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UK ad ‘hiccup’ impacts on AMC’s international business

AMC has blamed a “hiccup” in UK ad revenues for a lacklustre performance by its international division in its latest quarterly results.

Josh Sapan_wideSpeaking on the company’s earnings call, AMC Networks’ chief operating officer, Ed Carroll, said that the company expects to see continued growth in affiliate revenue at its international networks, but cautioned: “We think that’s going to be offset a bit by some weakness in ad revenue, that’s mainly in the UK.”

“The affiliate side we think is good. A hiccup in terms of the advertising in the UK is sort of the story on international this year,” he said.

AMC Networks reported second quarter net revenues of US$711 million, up 3.8% year-on-year. This increase reflected 5.6% growth at its national networks division but a decrease of 6.3% for its international and other segment.

Operating income was US$176 million for the quarter, adecrease of 1.3% year-on-year. Here an increase of 11.9% at national networks was more than offset by a wider operating loss of US$23 million at international and other.

“Our financial and operating performance in the second quarter and for the year, thus far, has been strong and we remain on track to deliver on our full-year total company outlook,” said AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan (pictured).

“The success of our long-term focus on investing in marquee content and in distinctive, vibrant brands that attract passionate and engaged fans is reinforced by our wide distribution on new virtual MVPDs, includingmost recently YouTube TV; being home to four of the top five dramas on basic cable; and with Emmy nominations that span our networks and genres, including nominations for AMC’s Better Call Saul, IFC’s Documentary Now! and BBC America’s Planet Earth II.”

AMC’s ‘international and other’ unit principally consists of: AMC Networks International, the company’s international programming business; IFC Films, the Company’s independent film distribution business; and various developing digital content distribution initiatives.

In the UK, AMC Networks International’s channel line-up includes AMC, CBS Action and CBS Drama.
AMC’s national networks mainly consists of the company’s five nationally distributed programming networks in the US – AMC, WE tv, BBC AMERICA, IFC and SundanceTV – and the company’s television production business, AMC Studios.