Cablevision finds AMC at the end of the Rainbow

Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) is not only spinning off its Rainbow Networks programming unit: It's renaming the new company in honor of its successful channel, AMC Networks.

AMC has gone from a backwater channel showing--as its full name American Movie Classics suggests--old movies to presenting breakout dramas that focus on a debauched 1960s ad agency (Mad Men), a suburban science teacher/drug kingpin (Breaking Bad) and people eaters (The Walking Dead). The new AMC Networks will roll in all the other Rainbow properties: WE TV, IFC, Sundance Channel, AMC/Sundance Global and IFC Entertainment.

"AMC has become one of the most established of those brands, recognized by consumers an investors alike," said Josh Sapan, who will move from his position as head of Rainbow Media to be president of the new company. "We want to capitalize on that brand awareness."

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