AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:AMCX) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 10, 2018 • 08:30 am ET


AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:AMCX) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Joshua W. Sapan

as revenue from emerging distribution platforms and overall content franchises.

In a cluttered environment, we have grown total distribution of our networks. Reflection we think of our key attributes. They are the strength of our very well priced, well defined brands, the quality of our programming and uniquely high viewer engagement and the ultimate value that we create for both traditional and virtual MVPD's.

AMC Networks now has the lowest priced offering, for a group of channels form any independent programmer in the US. And it is the most widely distributed independent programmer among virtual MVPD's. We believe those things are an indication of a very strong position in the landscape, particularly as virtual MVPD Platforms grow and as other new entrance and packages emerge and compete for subscribers looking for alternative lower priced pay TV offerings.

We are also taking advantage of increasing consumer interest in add free subscription services, particularly for scripted dramas by growing the investments for making in director consumer services. Sundance now our subscription service that that has a growing offering of original series, films and documentaries; and Shudder, which has an expanding array of suspense, mystery and horror-themed content are both gaining traction with consumers. Much like the evolution of our linear networks, as these services grow, they are increasingly fueled by exclusive original content.

As a consequence, we are continuing to invest in them in a disciplined manner, as we think, this investment will provide us with a very good return over the mid-to-long term. Our other investments in the ad-free subscription world continue to perform quite well, including the subscription services Acorn TV, from RLJ Entertainment and BritBox, which we operate in partnership with the BBC and ITV. Worthy of note, I think, AMC Networks led the industry by creating the first in-ecosystem -- ad-free upgrade subscription option called AMC Premiere, which offers ad-free viewing of AMC shows along with extra benefits. Last year, as many of you know, we partnered with Comcast to launch AMC Premiere to Comcast's Xfinity TV subscribers.

In the first quarter this year, we made the full seasons of two of our new series, McMafia and the Terror, available on AMC Premiere, the same night those series premiered on our linear network, driving customer gains for AMC Premiere and delivering value to Comcast Xfinity subscribers. AMC Premiere is now being adopted by other platforms, including most recently fuboTV. And next month, it will become part of YouTube's TV package. We think, this expansion is a meaningful indication of the growing appeal of this unique AMC-branded service from both traditional and emerging MVPDs.

All this activity is increasingly supported by shows from our own AMC Studios and the franchises supported by those shows. As we mentioned on prior calls, owning our intellectual property and expanding our AMC Studios operation has been an important area of focus for us. We now have a dozen or so shows coming from AMC Studios and this activity is directly contributing to our