AMC Networks’ IFC Films co-owns with director Richard Linklater the widely praised film Boyhood, “but we’re not going to pop the champagne bottle on the economic side because of it,” AMC chief Josh Sapan told analysts this morning. IFC “is not a big business…we shouldn’t lead you to believe it has a substantial effect” on AMC’s finances. Still, IFC makes sense for the company because it helps to attracts independent filmmakers who have “some nexus” with television. That can be helpful to AMC which thrives with creatively ambitious shows such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Rectify.
Sapan added that he’s “pleased with our performance” in this year’s generally anemic upfront ad sales market, with AMC seeing “increased pricing and volume with the latter in double digits.” But the company held some inventory back looking ahead to “historically strong demand” in the scatter market.
The CEO tip-toed around the subject of industry consolidation: He wouldn’t update the Street on his talks to buy close to a 50% stake in BBC America. Many see AMC Networks as a potential target. Sapan says, though, that deals “may risk some of the creativity that exists in some of the smaller organizations.” He’s “carefully monitoring the landscape” while AMC “will continue executing our strategy.”