AMC Networks’ growing streaming business suffered a setback last week when Shudder and Sundance Now were taken down from Amazon Channels.
Cord Cutter News spotted the message Shudder posted on its website about the disruption.
“Attention Shudder Community. We have a real Halloween horror story! Amazon has made the unfortunate decision to stop selling the Shudder channel, and right in the middle of the Halloween season. New members can no longer sign up through Amazon,” the company wrote.
On today’s earnings call, AMC Networks executives acknowledged the dispute.
“It is a commercial relationship and sometimes we experience bumps in the road over deal points,” said AMC Networks CFO Sean Sullivan. “As it relates to Shudder and Sundance Now, I would say we are all but done on the major deal points and we have resumed our normal relationship with Amazon on the platform.”
Indeed, Shudder and Sundance Now are again both listed on the Amazon Channels website.
Though AMC didn’t specifically confirm the cause of the dispute, management comments lend some credence to a recent report from The Information that Amazon had begun requesting 10 to 20 percentage point increases to its cut of subscription revenues for services included on Channels.
RELATED: AMC Networks’ Q2 revenues rise 7.2%
AMC, of course, still has successful cable network and studio businesses to account for, but streaming and direct-to-consumer is increasingly becoming an important third segment for the company. AMC’s stake in streaming services increased even further today when it completed its acquisition of RLJ Entertainment and took ownership of that company’s two SVODs, Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel.
“Today we announced our acquisition of RLJ Entertainment, the company behind the growing streaming services Acorn TV and UMC, which now reach nearly one million subscribers. This acquisition represents a major step forward for AMC Networks as we further diversify our business through direct-to-consumer offerings that we own and control, and through our AMC Studios operation and our international channels business,” said AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan in a statement.
Shudder and Sundance Now are housed within AMC’s international networks segment, which reported $152 million in revenue, up 34%, during the third quarter.
The majority of AMC Networks’ revenue still comes from its national networks division, which reported a 3.5% year-over-year increase to $560 million.
AMC’s consolidated net revenues increased 7.5% to $697 million and its operating income increased 7.3% to $165 million.