AMC’s Money Guy Spills Tea on Strike and Epic Charter-Disney Deal!

As the Hollywood actors and writers strikes are behind AMC Networks, CFO Patrick O’Connell told an investors conference the dual labor actions had no material financial impact on the cable channel giant.

“I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a nothingburger, but it’s as close to that as it can be financially. So we’re set up well going into ’24,” O’Connell told the B of A Securities Leveraged Finance Conference during a session that was webcast on Tuesday.

The CFO of AMC Networks, which operates such cable channel brands as AMC, IFC and Sundance TV, as well as such streamers as AMC+, Acorn TV, and Shudder, also applauded Walt Disney and Charter Communications recently unveiling a landmark carriage agreement.

“In hindsight, people will look back and see that as a seminal moment in the evolution of the media landscape. I’ve got to give credit to Chris Winfrey for his leadership at Charter, and also Bog Iger at Disney coming to the table and cutting a deal that will be very much a template-type structure for negotiations going forward,” O’Connell said.

He also addressed a challenging advertising market and other headwinds for AMC Networks as it attempts a corporate turnaround under new CEO Kristin Dolan. “Everything is on the table. We took some tough medicine at the end of last year,” O’Connell said of cost-cutting measures, including one-time restructuring costs, taken to offset revenue declines.

He added the company had no near-term plans to sell off non-core assets. “We’ll consider all comers, but at this point there’s nothing on the horizon that we see. We’ve got a lot of interesting assets. I think some of them are under-appreciated by the market. If the time comes, we may look to monetize some of them, but there’s nothing imminent right now,” he told the investors conference.

For now, AMC Network is also continuing to face increased cord-cutting amid a pivot to the streaming space. “There’s no doubt it’s hard to make the case that there’s not a secular shift on the advertising side away from (linear) TV. Let’s just call it what it is,” O’Connell argued.

He pointed to AMC Networks introducing Audience+, a new advertising insights and data targeting platform, to better tailor its channels to marketers. “So that’s how we’re sort of counter-punching against what we see as a probably continued tough environment in the advertising space,” O’Connnell added.

Whether it’s the end of a strike, a landmark deal, or the shift to streaming, AMC Networks seems to be navigating the entertainment landscape with ease, according to CFO Patrick O’Connell. As the cable channel giant continues to innovate and adapt, it looks like they’re set up well for the future.

And I mean, who doesn’t love a good nothingburger? As long as they keep serving them up financially, I think we can all rest easy knowing AMC Networks is on the right track. As for those under-appreciated assets, let’s hope they get the recognition they deserve. After all, we could all use a little more appreciation in our lives.

As for the challenging advertising market, I think we can all relate. In a world where cord-cutting is on the rise, it’s tough to deny the shift away from traditional TV. But hey, with new platforms like Audience+, maybe there’s hope for the future of advertising yet. And if all else fails, I’m sure there’s a meme out there that can save the day.

So here’s to AMC Networks, navigating the ups and downs of the entertainment industry like a pro. With O’Connell at the helm, it looks like they’re steering the ship in the right direction. And let’s not forget the power of a good deal – kudos to Disney and Charter for setting the stage for future negotiations.

In the ever-changing world of entertainment, one thing’s for sure – AMC Networks is serving up more than just nothingburgers. And with their eye on the streaming space, who knows what’s next for this cable channel giant. As they continue to adapt and innovate, I have a feeling the best is yet to come.

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