AMC Networks Beats Wall Street Estimates For Q3 Earnings And Revenue

Read on: Deadline.

AMC Networks beat Wall Street’s estimates for third-quarter earnings and revenue, and pointed to its acquisition of RLJ Entertainment as a sign of the content company’s expansion into direct-to-consumer streaming.
Earnings per share for the…

AMC Networks Beats Q3 Earnings Estimates as International Growth Takes Off

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

AMC Networks beat the Street in the third quarter of 2018, reporting adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.15 on $697 million in revenue. Compare those with Wall Street’s forecasts: $1.80 in EPS on $694.29 million in revenue, per a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance.

Overall, the publicly traded corporation’s revenues over the 90 days that ended on Sept. 30, 2018 rose 7.5 percent. We can break that down as growth of 3.5 percent at the national networks and a big 34.6 percent increase internationally. While that’s a big disparity on a percentage basis, AMC’s national networks group (AMC, WE tv, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV; and AMC Studios, the Company’s television production business) is still almost 4x as large as the global arm.

Over the three months measured for these results, AMC’s national networks saw a 5 percent increase in distribution revenue, which was mostly thanks to increased subscription sales and greater content licensing returns.

It’s worth pointing out here that most of Season 4 of “Better Call Saul” aired during the summer quarter. “The Walking Dead” Season 9 waited for Q4 to premiere. The zombie drama’s spinoff “Fear the Walking Dead” ran in the third quarter.

Also Read: AMC’s Charlie Collier to Become Entertainment CEO of ‘New Fox’

AMC’s international and “other” segment principally consists of AMC Networks International, the company’s international programming business; IFC Films, its independent film distribution business; Levity Entertainment Group, AMC’s production services and comedy venues business; and the company’s owned subscription streaming services, Sundance Now and Shudder.

Shareholders can thank Levity for much of Q3’s revenue growth.

Also Read: AMC Networks to Acquire Robert Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment

On Thursday, AMC also announced it has completed its acquisition of RLJ Entertainment, the home to Acorn TV and UMC (Urban Movie Channel).

“Today we announced our acquisition of RLJ Entertainment, the company behind the growing streaming services Acorn TV and UMC, which now reach nearly one million subscribers. This acquisition represents a major step forward for AMC Networks as we further diversify our business through direct-to-consumer offerings that we own and control, and through our AMC Studios operation and our international channels business,” President and CEO Josh Sapan said in comments accompanying the financials. “In an evolving media and entertainment marketplace, AMC Networks continues to be very well positioned based on our size, our pricing and our strong content, which includes three of the top five dramas on ad-supported cable, and we remain the most widely available independent programmer among virtual MVPDs. In the third quarter, we delivered solid financial performance and we are on track to meet our 2018 full-year financial targets of total company revenue and adjusted operating income growth.”

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Co-Showrunner Breaks Down That Long-Awaited Moment in the Season Finale

Shares of AMCX stock closed Wednesday afternoon at $58.58, up 84 cents. The U.S. stock markets reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Sapan and other AMC executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail. One key player will be missing, however.

Last month, “New Fox” said that AMC Networks president and general manager Charlie Collier would be leaving the company to become entertainment CEO of (what will be left of) Fox following the Disney deal. Collier presided over AMC’s reinvention into a scripted drama powerhouse on the strength of Emmy darlings like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” and the striking ratings of “The Walking Dead.”

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’: Norman Reedus on Why Daryl and Maggie Turned Away in Episode 3’s Final Scene

AMC Networks will continue to be led by Sapan and COO Ed Carroll. David Madden also joined last year as president of programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios.

AMC is looking for a permanent replacement for Collier.

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‘Fear The Walking Dead’s Colman Domingo Lifts The Lid On AMC Adaptation Of Stage Play ‘Dot’

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Fear The Walking Dead star Colman Domingo said that he is “mining the pilot” of his adaptation of stage play Dot for U.S. cable network AMC.
The actor and playwright is developing the project, which premiered on stage in 2016 in New York, as In The Mid…

5 Takeaways From TheGrill 2018: The Netflix Arms Race, MoviePass’ Future and More

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The 2018 edition of TheGrill — TheWrap’s annual conference of thought leaders in Hollywood, media and technology — created a whirlwind of news and serious conversation this week.

For starters, we got a glimpse into how cryptocurrency may transform access to making entertainment. It’s hard for many of us to understand and harder to trust a new system of tokens and something that sounds like a device to protects a bicycle, a blockchain.

It will probably require some fearless person to actually finance a movie this way and have it work for there to be broad adoption.

Also Read: TheWrap’s 2018 Innovators Share Their Advice for Aspiring Creators and Entrepreneurs

Beyond that, here’s my top takeaways from the event, held on Monday and Tuesday at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills:

1. The L.A. Times’ has an unlikely savior
Patrick Soon-Shiong seems like the knight in shining armor that Los Angeles has been waiting for. Not only has this billionaire medical savant spent $500 million to buy The Los Angeles Times, a sum that he acknowledged on stage was ridiculously inflated, but he has also sunk an additional $100 million into the paper’s staff and other areas in need of investment.

The reason for doing so was simple, he said: “It wasn’t the money. It wasn’t the business. It was, ‘Do we want this paper to exist or not?’” He made clear in his discussion with me that he does.

And he convincingly suggested that he is still focused on curing cancer with unconventional approaches, resolving climate change by developing alternate energy sources and reestablishing balance in our news system.

Also Read: New LA Times Owner Says He’s Spending $100 Million to Rebuild the Paper – and Wants It Back

2. Netflix drives the competition for content
There’s an “arms race” going on in content, and no one who is in the game can avoid being pulled into that competition. A conversation with Showtime’s David Nevins and AMC’s Josh Sapan made it clear that these boutique and/or independent networks, built on quality and focused programming to their audiences, are feeling the pressure of Netflix and its $8 billion spend on programming.

Personally, I don’t believe that an exponential spike in content creation can be sustained without quality taking a hit. The kind of shows Showtime and HBO and AMC create take time, focus and an ability to nurture story, talent and risk.

Nevins said Showtime is aiming to double its content in the years to come. As Showtime grows its subscription pipeline, we can only hope to see the quality of programing continue. And it’s worth noting that Sapan called out a series of 10, 10-minute episodes that are debuting this fall on Sundance — everyone is expanding into different formats, by necessity. We may not see the decline of “peak content” anytime soon. (Calling Jon Landgraf!)

Also Read: Showtime’s David Nevins Says TV Spending Could Reach $100 Billion: ‘No Question – It’s an Arms Race’

3. MoviePass insists it’s still a player
Free movies? That’s what MoviePass owner Ted Farnsworth said he’s aiming for, sometime in the future. When and how? Unclear. But Farnsworth, under fire from investors and media critics and customers upset over the cutback to three movies a month in the service, did clarify a number of things on the record.

He said that MoviePass and its parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics, are not out of cash. He’s not declaring bankruptcy. And he’s not really worried about the stock dropping to a penny since he said he just raised another $65 million.

He also clarified that the real play for this company is gathering moviegoing data at scale and monetizing that for advertising and other products. Candidly, there was skepticism in the audience for these views, especially when Farnsworth said one of his future goals would be to create a model that allows for free moviegoing.

Something tells me his studio partners (and clients) might not love that idea. That said, I invited him back in a year to check on his predictions, and we’ll be fascinated to see what happens next. It is certainly true that the demise of MoviePass has been predicted since this spring, and it’s still going.

Also Read: MoviePass Owner Rules Out Bankruptcy, Announces $65 Million in New Funding

4. eSports are on fire
The only thing I can say about this conversation, led by gaming analyst Malik Forte, is that it was among the most popular debates at TheGrill in a category that is exploding.

A fascinating back and forth happened in the green room between Activision CMO Daniel Cherry and L.A. Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, who is deeply excited by eSports — when he’s not busy trying to cure cancer. The L.A. Times would be smart to aggressively cover this topic, which is a nifty combination of sports, technology and entertainment.

Also Read: Why eSports Is ‘Growing Like Wildfire,’ From Activision Blizzard to Echo Fox

5. Keep an eye on new innovators
An inspiring young man named Matt Stern, one of 12 people named to TheWrap’s Innovators joined the Innovators List this year, impressed with the pitch for his $100 augmented-reality headset, which essentially looks like a pair of oversized glasses that can fit your cellphone.

At just 22 and a recent grad of USC’s new Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre-endowed program in Integrated Design, Business and Technology, Stern and two friends created Mira, an innovator in augmented reality.

Stern, who has all the focus and none of the arrogance of the new tech Masters of the Universe, had a message about being open to listening and learning from others and showed a maturity well beyond his years. It’s a reminder that innovation can come at any age, with intention and a good idea. I’m pretty sure we’ll see this guy back at TheGrill in years to come.

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The Scene at TheGrill 2018: Will Packer, Patrick Soon-Shiong and More at TheWrap’s Media Leadership Conference (Photos)

New LA Times Owner Says He’s Spending $100 Million to Rebuild the Paper – and Wants It Back (Video)

MoviePass Owner Rules Out Bankruptcy, Announces $65 Million in New Funding

TheGrill Starts Today: See Will Packer, LA Times Owner Patrick Soon-Shiong and Showtime and AMC Bosses

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

TheWrap’s annual conference, TheGrill, showcasing Hollywood and Silicon Valley’s top thought leaders begins today at the SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills — kicking off a two-day slate of panel discussions and interv…

Welcome to TheGrill 2018: Now We’re Talking Disruption at Full Tilt

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Now we’re in it. The transformation of the traditional media and entertainment landscape is racing at full tilt, and the institutions that were once unassailable are becoming undone.
Technology and changing consumer habits lie behind the acquisit…

Showtime’s David Nevins Roast-Toasted By Claire Danes And Liev Schreiber, Hails TV As “Last Bastion Of Oral Culture”

Read on: Deadline.

After being praised by stars Claire Danes and Liev Screiber and AMC Networks boss Josh Sapan for being a steady hand at Showtime, David Nevins offered praise of his own to the power of television’s “oral culture.”
The Center for Commu…

In the Spotlight: Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong Joins TheGrill 2018!

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

TheGrill is delighted to welcome Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner and executive chairman of The Los Angeles Times, as the Spotlight Interview at TheGrill 2018 on October 1-2.
Soon-Shiong joins Wrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman for a one-on-one interview…

‘Walking Dead’ Kicks Off “Decade” Of Expansion Plans With NYC Double-Shot & New Season 9 Photos

Read on: Deadline.

Looking to go for many more years, The Walking Dead premieres its upcoming ninth season next week in Los Angeles with a full-on Hollywood screening at the Directors Guild of America. However, with a plethora of photographs of the new season dropped tod…

AMC Networks Stock Slumps After Q2 Earnings Miss Forecasts

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Shares of AMC Networks Inc. fell as much as 4.5 percent on Thursday after the entertainment company reported earnings for the second quarter that came in below Wall Street expectations.

AMC Networks reported adjusted earnings of $1.93 per share, which was an improvement from the $1.88 per share earnings the company reported during the same quarter a year ago. But that fell short of the $1.98 earnings per share analysts were hoping to see, according to estimates per Yahoo Finance.

The company saw revenue jump to $761.4 million from the $710.5 million the network reported last year. Revenue for the quarter exceeded analysts’ expectations for $730.8 million.

Also Read: AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan, Dolby Chief Scientist Poppy Crum, Helios & Matheson CEO Ted Farnsworth Join TheGrill 2018

Revenue from AMC Networks’ national cable stations — including IFC, BBC America and WE tv — saw a 3.7 percent increase, accounting for $627.3 million of the net total, while international and other revenue ballooned 32.4 percent to $146.7 million.

“We continued to deliver solid financial and operating results in the second quarter, growing revenue and adjusted operating income; generating strong free cash flow; and using our capital to position the business for the long-term,” AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan said in a statement. “Our recent transactions related to RLJ Entertainment and Levity are strategically consistent with several of our larger goals, including furthering our interests in ad-free direct-to-consumer businesses that we own and control, through RLJ Entertainment’s growing Acorn TV and UMC SVOD services, and content ownership.”

Sapan went on to tout the network’s success with BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” which garnered two Emmy nominations: Best Actress in a Drama Series for Sandra Oh and outstanding writing for the show’s creator, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Also Read: Sandra Oh on Her Historic Emmy Nomination: ‘I Share This Moment With My Community’

AMC, along with operating BBC America, has a 49.9 percent equity stake in the network.

“Our financial performance reflects our continued ability to create high-quality content that stands out, including the widely-acclaimed and Emmy-nominated BBC America original series ‘Killing Eve,’ which debuted in the quarter and became the only scripted series in more than a decade on linear television to grow its ratings every week over its first season,” Sapan said in his statement. “We continue to ensure that our content and brands are widely distributed and we have the distinction of being the most widely available independent programmer to be carried by virtual MVPDs, which includes our most recent launch on AT&T’s new Watch service.”

“In an environment that is rapidly changing, our strong track record, along with our size and our attractive price to distributors, will enable us to continue operating from a strong competitive position, take advantage of growth opportunities, and create value for shareholders,” Sapan continued.

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AMC CEO Josh Sapan, Dolby Chief Scientist Poppy Crum, Helios & Matheson CEO Ted Farnsworth Join TheGrill 2018

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TheGrill is pleased to announce a new set of speakers for this year’s conference taking place October 1-2 in Los Angeles, with the entertainment and media industry’s thought leaders addressing what’s on everyone’s mind: industry…

AMC’s Josh Sapan & BBC Studios’ Tim Davie To Keynote Mipcom; Hugh Grant Heads To Edinburgh TV Festival

Read on: Deadline.

Josh Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks, and Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios, partners in BBC America, are to set to give separate keynote addresses at Mipcom in October.
The pair will talk at the international TV event in Cannes France as part of …

AMC Networks Zombie-Walks Past Wall Street Estimates With Q1 Results: “Our Size, Focus And Assets Are Unique Strengths”

Read on: Deadline.

AMC Networks mounted an argument for its vitality in a consolidating media landscape, posting stellar first-quarter financial results that blew past Wall Street estimates.
Net income increased 28% to $2.54 per share on a diluted basis from $1.98 in the…

AMC Networks Tops Q1 Earnings Mark in Spite of ‘Walking Dead’ Ratings Declines

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

AMC Networks revealed better-than-expected first-quarter 2018 financials early Thursday morning, riding those Trump corporate tax cuts to a cushy earnings beat.

Wall Street had forecast Q1 earnings per share (EPS) of $2.19 on $720.51 million in revenue, according to a Yahoo Finance-compiled consensus. AMC actually earned $2.65 per share on $741 million in revenue.

Increased distribution at the national networks — AMC, WE tv, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV — led revenue growth domestically. Those channels also combined for a bit of subscription growth, though U.S. ad sales dropped 8.8 percent on lower Nielsen ratings for long-running shows like “The Walking Dead.”

Also Read: AMC Networks Boss Josh Sapan’s Pay Slips $900,000 From 2016

All told, AMC’s first-quarter net revenues rose 2.9 percent, with its net income clocking in at $157 million. That latter (and most-important) number represented a $21 million increase from the comparable first 90 days of 2017, a fact that can be partially attributed to the company’s stock repurchase program.

“AMC Networks delivered strong performance in the first quarter of 2018 with record total company revenues and earnings per share,” President and CEO Josh Sapan said in prepared remarks accompanying the financial release. “We have grown total distribution of our networks, reflecting the strength of our well-priced, well-defined brands; the quality of our programming and its popularity with viewers; and the value we create for both traditional and emerging distribution platforms. AMC Networks has the lowest priced offering of any independent programmer and is the most widely available independent programmer among virtual MVPDs, an indicator of our strong position as these emerging platforms continue to grow.”

“Our content continues to break through in a cluttered environment, with recent series including BBC America’s ‘Killing Eve,’ IFC’s ‘Brockmire,’ and AMC’s ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ and ‘The Terror’ drawing wide critical acclaim and strong viewership, and our streaming services, Sundance Now and Shudder, continue to gain traction with consumers,” he continued. “As we focus on delivering shareholder value in the near and long-term, we remain disciplined in our approach to content investments and managing costs while increasingly diversifying our revenue mix through content sales, franchise monetization and new distribution platforms.”

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Finale Audience Falls 30 Percent From Last Year

Shares of AMCX stock closed Wednesday at $53.13, up 35 cents apiece. The U.S. stock market’s regular day will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET today, though shares are already up about 3 percent in pre-market trading.

AMC Networks executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail. They should be in a good mood.

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Executive Compensation 2017: Top TV, Film and Tech Bosses Ranked by Pay (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

There’s no business like showbusiness, and few bank on that fact yearly quite like Hollywood’s top executives.

Based on compensation that has been reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission this year, the industry’s top earner is CBS chief Leslie Moonves — and it’s not even close.

Earning a cool $69.3 million in 2017, Moonves’ take is a whopping $27 million higher than the next-richest guy of the last 12 months, Discovery boss David Zaslav. Hell, Les made damn near twice what Disney’s top executive Bob Iger did in 2017.

Please, no one tell Dish Network head honcho Charlie Ergen what Moonves made — he’ll pass out.

Here is a sample selected at random:

Charlie Ergen
Dish Chairman
2016: $1.7 million
2017: $2.4 million
Change: +41 percent

Bob Bakish
Viacom CEO
2016: N/A (Predecessor Philippe Dauman made $93 million, thanks to golden parachute)
2017: $20.3 Million
Change: N/A

Tim Cook
Apple CEO
2016: $8.5
2017: $12.8
Change: +51 percent

Also Read: Sean Hannity Defends Investments in Low-Income Housing

Josh Sapan
AMC Networks Chairman and CEO
2016: $30.5 million
2017: $29.6 million
Change: -3%

David Zaslav
Discovery President and CEO
2016: $37.2 million
2017: $42.2 million
Change: +13%

Scroll through our gallery for all of the rich (white) guys — our execs are ranked from lowest-paid to highest-paid there. Then print out our main bar story, march into your own boss’s office, and demand a raise.

Also Read: What Does Comcast’s $31 Billion Sky Bid Mean for Fox and Disney?

Sean Burch contributed to this story.

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AMC Networks Boss Josh Sapan’s Pay Slips $900,000 From 2016

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Josh Sapan hauled in $29.6 million in 2017, which, remarkably, is a pay cut.

The AMC Networks president and chief executive officer made about $900,000 less than he did in 2016, when Sapan’s all-in take was $30.5 million.

Sapan’s 2017 salary stayed consistent with the prior years at $2 million. His stock award of $14.3 million was up from 2016, though a sizable decline in the “non-equity incentive plan compensation” more than offset the growth.

Also Read: AMC’s ‘The Terror’ Showrunners Really, Really Want You to ‘Fact Check’ Them – Seriously

The AMC boss’s loss under catch-all heading “all other compensation” was immaterial when talking about these sums of money.

It’s good to have “The Walking Dead” — even this version.

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AMC Networks Posts Lackluster Q4 Results But Points To 2017 Strides

Read on: Deadline.

AMC Networks had many positives to point to for all of 2017, including record full-year revenue of $2.8 billion, but the cable programmer posted a soft fourth quarter, with revenue and profit down on an adjusted basis.
Total revenue drifted down a fraction of a percent to $727 million. Adjusted operating income of $206 million was off 3.4% from the same period a year ago.
The environment is not getting any less challenging for a pure-play cable programmer, although CEO Jos…