AMC Networks is close to a deal to buy a major stake in a cable channel. Bloomberg reports that the deal would give AMC Networks almost half of BBC America for $200 million.
The report cites sources saying the deal would value the U.S. channel at more than $400 million. The sources spoke anonymously because the discussions are private.
Bloomberg notes: “BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of government-backed British Broadcasting Corp., would retain a controlling stake, they said.”
AMC Networks would include BBC America in its lineup when it negotiates for fees, giving both companies more bargaining strength, the story adds. That’s important given that pay-TV operators are pushing to restrain programming spending.
“In addition to keeping majority ownership of the channel, BBC Worldwide would control the brand while tapping AMC’s programming and advertising teams, the people said,” Bloomberg adds.
BBC America is available in about 80 million U.S. households, and its programs include “Doctor Who” and “Orphan Black.”