AMC will not go OTT, CEO Sapan says

Even though it's blessed with some of the most in-demand original series on television, AMC Networks has no plans to take its programming over the top of the existing pay-TV model.

"We live and thrive and feed off the ecosystems of MVPDs," said Josh Sapan, speaking on Tuesday at NYC Television Week, an event produced and covered by Multichannel News. "Our best preparation is to have the stuff that people want to watch the most. Today, we have no intention of going over the top. We think being in this ecosystem is a wonderful place."

Sapan's remarks come as HBO and Showtime, programming brands also known for popular, edgy original series, are preparing to deliver a la carte streaming services in 2015. CBS has also put its current and archival shows up on a new SVOD service called CBS All Access.

For several years, however, AMC has been aggressive in deploying hits such as Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead to SVOD services such as Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX).

AMC's presentation of The Walking Dead on Sunday averaged more than 13.5 million viewers, a ratings performance that surpassed NBC's NFL game coverage for a second straight week.

AMC continues to use the strong audience appeal of that show to hammer out better affiliate agreements with pay-TV operators. On Sunday, for example, it continued to encourage viewers to call DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) and "demand" that the satellite operator re-up its licensing deal with AMC.

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story

Related links:
With Ergen, Turner finds out it's better to be lucky than a good longtime programming partner
AMC pays $200M for 49.9 percent share of BBC America
Ergen says streaming makes CBS 'less interesting to MVPDs' as network readies OTT news service
Ergen: OTT service on track for this year, Turner channels may not come back to Dish
CBS, Moonves lose nerve on tough OTT position with launch of All Access
Aereo crusher CBS launches $5.99-a-month online service

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