AMC Calls SVOD Policy 'Appropriate'

AMC Networks said its policy of making its original series available to streaming video on demand a year after they appear on linear TV remains appropriate.

Subscription VOD services like Netflix and Hulu are being accused of being culprits as traditional television ratings decline. While they generate billions of dollars in revenue for programmers, they also are seen as encouraging cord-cutting and cord-shaving, reducing the distribution revenue for linear TV networks.

Analysts and industry executives have said networks and studios should review their SVOD policies to avoid killing TV's golden goose. Among them, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said during a conference call with analysts and investors Wednesday (Nov. 4) that the company is evaluating delaying when it makes its shows available to SVOD providers as a means of boosting the value of the pay TV bundle.

At AMC, “We’ve been fairly consistent in our thinking since we engaged in SVOD exploitation," CEO Josh Sapan said during AMC’s earnings call Thursday (Nov. 5). "We thought it was wise to balance time and money.”

AMC waits about a year to make its shows available to SVOD, in the case of shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Sapan said that gave AMC the value of increased exposure, which led to higher ratings for those series.

“Our view today is our approach was a measured one and an appropriate one,” Sapan said.


Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.