AMC Networks has closed a deal to acquire about half of a cable channel. The company, whose AMC channel airs the hit zombie show “The Walking Dead,” has bought 49.9% of BBC America for $200 million, reports Bloomberg.
The agreement will allow both cable network operators to strengthen their leverage with pay-TV carriers, the story notes. The pact will create a joint venture, with AMC running BBC America and maintaining the network’s editorial standards, with a joint editorial committee overseeing the effort, the piece adds.
“The deal brings BBC America series like ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Top Gear’ and ‘Orphan Black’ under the same roof as AMC shows that include ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Mad Men.’ AMC Networks, which owns the AMC, Sundance and IFC channels, will include BBC America when it negotiates for fees, giving both players more bargaining heft against pay-TV operators that are consolidating to help restrain rising content costs,” the piece reports.
“We will be essential to distributors because we will be essential to their customers,” AMC Chief Executive Officer Josh Sapan told Bloomberg. “With that, you can get pricing power.”
The joint venture will enable BBC World News to reach more viewers in the U.S., BBC Worldwide Chief Executive Tim Davie told the publication.