AMC Networks Inc (AMCX): Breaking Good

It is always nice when personal pleasure can coincide with personal finance and making money. In my case, I am a huge fan of the three blockbuster drama series currently on AMC channel, Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead. However, I have also started to become a fan of the company behind the popular shows, AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX), which remains a leader in cable television and has multiple avenues for growth in the future.

AMC Networks (AMCX)

Industry-leading content
The first aspect to consider with any media company that engages primarily in content creation is the content itself. In this regard AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) leads the basic cable television pack. With the three aforementioned drama series and a steadily expanding portfolio of unscripted shows, the small-cap company has built a rather robust portfolio of critically and commercially successful franchises over the years.

The Walking Dead is the most watched show in the history of cable television, as the first episode of its third season opened last October to a record-breaking 10.9 million viewers. This number represented an increase of 50% over the show’s season two opening episode. Even more impressive is that the show’s third season ended in April on an even higher note, with 12.4 million viewers tuning in to watch the season finale. This indicates that demand for The Walking Dead is the strongest it’s ever been and means that the show’s season four premier coming next month should be another high point for AMC channel and could even boost shares in the process.

Also impressive is how well AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) compounds the success of its hit shows with the ancillary talk show format. Directly after The Walking Dead first airs, Talking Dead follows and manages to retain an impressive 25% of the drama series’ 10 million plus viewers. Management at AMC employs a similar tactic with the hit show Breaking Bad and that show’s supplementary follow-up Talking Bad. The repeated success of these supplementary shows indicates that management at AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) has developed an efficient and successful formula to enhance its existing drama brands.

A recent concern has been what happens when the company’s popular lineup of content begins to end? Well, management is in the process of figuring that out, as the company has announced seven new scripted drama series and three new unscripted series to be produced. The company’s new dramatic endeavors include Ballistic City, a futuristic drama about a criminal underworld housed underneath a massive spaceship, and Ashland, a period drama set in the 1950’s amid the height of the Red-Scare.