AMC Networks’ national networks segment posted $606 million in fourth-quarter revenue, down 1.3% year-over-year as advertising revenues for the segment sank.
Advertising revenue fell 9.9% to $269 million, which AMC attributed to lower delivery offset partially by higher pricing. However, distribution revenue rose 6.8% to $337 million thanks to an increase in subscription revenue as well as content licensing revenues.
The segment’s operating income fell 6.5% to $177 million and adjusted operating income fell 5.2% to $195 million. The company attributed the decreases to a decline in revenues as well as an increase in operating expenses due to higher programming expenses. Programming expenses included charges of $38 million related to the write-off of programming assets.
National networks includes AMC, WE tv, BBC AMERICA, IFC and SundanceTV, as well as AMC Studios.
AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan said the company’s recent deals with fuboTV and Philo expand AMC’s distribution and that its ad-free service AMC Premiere is gaining momentum.
"‘AMC Premiere' continues to gain traction, with YouTube TV recently joining Comcast Xfinity in making our ad-free AMC streaming option available to its subscribers. Our owned streaming services Sundance Now and Shudder are seeing healthy subscriber growth and their momentum, coupled with the growth of the other streaming services we have invested in, including Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel, and the BBC and ITV's Britbox, highlights consumer demand for subscription streaming services with specialized content. As we continue to evolve and adapt in a world of changing viewer consumption habits, we believe AMC Networks occupies a position of unique strength and are confident that our size, our focus, and our portfolio of assets will enable us to continue to deliver strong financial results to our shareholders," said Sapan in a statement.