Who Owns AMC? – History and Series

Who Owns AMC

Friday Night in with the Morgans (Talk Show), Ride with Norman Reedus, Soulmates, A Discovery of Witches, Kevin can F*** Himself, McMafia, Talking Dead, Dispatches from Elsewhere, Fear the Walking Dead, The Terror, Killing Eve, Ell Roth’s History of Horror, The Walking Dead, Creepshow, Better Call Saul. Now, these are some of the best tv shows and telecasted by the AMC network. AMC stands for American Movie Classics, as it predominantly telecasted movie classics. Glad it made the jump from only airing movie classics to modern movies to creating original television shows by 2004. So, in this article, we will discuss who owns AMC in this article and will give you brief history about it.

History – Who Owns AMC?

Formerly, Rainbow Programming Services was a joint venture formed by Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Daniels & Associates in 1980.

  • July 1981 – Bravo and Escapade expanded their satellite time due to the increase in subscribers
  • August 1981 – Playboy channel became part of the network
  • 1983 – Cablevision became the sole owner of Rainbow; it also acquires Sports Channel New York, PRISM New England, PRISM, SportsVision
  • 1984 – AMC (American Movie Classics) comes into existence featuring Classic movies; during this time Rainbow Service constituted AMC and Bravo; it also made a deal with CBS, which gave CBS 50 percent ownership.
  • 1986 – Tele-Communications Inc. bought a stake in AMC, which increased the number of subscribers
  • 1987 – CBS and CableVision dissolved their deal
  • 1988 – Rainbow’s sports channel scores the television rights for the National Hockey League
  • 1994 – MuchMusic USA, a Canadian music channel was launched.
  • 1997 – Romance Classics was launched; Rainbow’s sports channel merged with Fox Sports Net
  • 1998 – MSG Metro Channels launched
  • 2002 – NBC gave up its 20 percent share in Rainbow Programming Service
  • 2003 – Launched satellite service, Voom; and it was revamped and introduced under the banner Voom HD Networks in 2005 but was discontinued by 2009.
  • 2008 – Sundance Channel was acquired.
  • 2011 – AMC network was privatized and went public on July 1, 2011, and Josh Sapan was made the president and chief executive of AMC Networks
  • 2012 – Dish Network and AMC reached an agreement, resolving the conflict of removing AMC owned channels
  • 2013 to 2015 – AMC network acquired a variety of ventures like Chellomedia, purchased a stake in BBC America, and invested in MiTu
  • 2016 – AMC Networks formed a partnership with RLJCompany
  • 2021 – AMC Network formed a strategic partnership with Shaftesbury Films

AMC is known for its famous TV Shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and most recently, Kevin can f***k himself. However, AMC was primarily known for its airing of Movie Classics during the 1980s. AMC, along with its airing of Movie Classics, started airing its original programming as well, which included:

  • Classic Stories from Classic Stars, featured interviews
  • Star Facts featuring biographies
  • Making of a classic which was mini-documentary series

AMC channel was known for airing movie marathons; it hosted Marx Brother films. It had also hosted a fundraiser for Film Preservation Festival during 1990 by showcasing rare and previously lost films as a marathon. All these led to increased subscribers to the channel, which enabled AMC to operate 24 hours a day by 1990.

Original Series

AMC shifted its focus from only movie classics to original series. Its first series, Remember WENN, a comedy-drama television series set at a fictional Pittsburgh Radio station from 1996 to 1998, for four seasons and called off. The next series, The Lot, aired for two seasons and 17 episodes following the life of stars in the fictional Sylver Screen Pictures studios but was canceled after that. Although, from 1998 to 2003, American Pop! became a popular program. It mainly featured movies from the 50s and 60s. Till 2001, AMC provided films without commercials.

Mad Men aired in late 2007, recipient of 16 Primetime Emmy Awards and a Peabody award, was the first original drama series by AMC. It featured Madison Avenue Advertising Executives. Before this, in 2004, it aired its first reality series named FilmFakers, featuring out-of-work actors by making them believe they were auditioning for a movie that didn’t exist. Ouch! Sounds mean, right!

In 2008, the most famous Breaking Bad series was made. A chemistry teacher with cancer going to great lengths to protect his family; bagged 16 Primetime Emmy Awards. Breaking Bad was continued in a spin-off named Better Call Saul, focusing on Saul Goodman, a criminal defense attorney, and Mike Ehrmantraut, a retired police officer, affiliated with a drug cartel. It has aired five seasons. The sixth and final season is set to premiere in 2022.

2009, it aired a miniseries named The Prisoner. In 2010, it premiered two original series named Rubicon and The Walking Dead, of which The Walking Dead was successful, a post-apocalyptic horror featuring zombie apocalypse survivors. It was based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman. Meanwhile, Rubicon, an American conspiracy thriller featuring Intelligence analysts working for the American Policy Institute, was canceled.

In 2011, CableVision was renamed AMC Networks. During that time, AMC made two dramas – The Killing and Hell on Wheels; two original web series – The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks and The Walking Dead: Torn Apart; three original reality series: The Pitch, Comic Book Men, and Small-Town Security. In addition, the Walking Dead series, owing to its fame, had web series and talk shows of its own.

AMC Network is also known to premier series on its sister channels – Sundance and WE tv to boost the rating of the budding channels. AMC is also known for airing horror movies marathon for a whole week named “Monster Fest” and “Fear Friday,” featuring horror movies on late Friday evenings. From 2008, during October, it started telecasting a horror-movie marathon schedule named “Fearfest”. For Christmas, AMC features a mix of popular Christmas and family films, including Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express. I’ll be Home for Christmas. AMC maintains movie licensing rights agreements with the following Studios:

Warner Bros. Entertainment, MGM, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 20th Century Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Productions, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, thus avoiding legal troubles in featuring movie marathons.

Development of AMC

The development of the AMC network from Rainbow Media involved changes in slogans and taglines. Over the years of its successful run, AMC rebrands itself from time to time.

  • 2002 to 2009: AMC shortened its abbreviation American Movie Classics and introduced a logo with a rectangular outline and lowercase letters
  • 2009 to 2013: Introduced its new slogan “Story Matters Here”
  • 2013 to present: It introduced a new slogan, “Something More” and rebranded its logo to solid gold block with “AMC” retained in the center.


AMC Premiere and AMC+ are subscription-based OTT platforms. AMC+ is for viewing the contents of AMC’S sister networks.

In AMC Premiere, with a subscription fee of $ 5 per month or $ 30 per year to view contents from “AMC OnDemand” library with the usual cable service. It also allows viewing programs before they air on the main AMC channel.

In AMC+, the subscription amount is $ 8.99 per month. It allows viewing AMC network programs and its sister channels’ programs, including BBC America, IFC, and Sundance TV.

AMC has also partnered with Netflix allowing it to feature some of its best series. The below is the list of AMC series included in Netflix, with the IMDb score.

  • Better Call Saul – IMDb score: 8.0/10
  • Breaking Bad – IMDb score: 8.3/10
  • Halt and Catch Fire – IMDb score:8.0/10
  • Hell on Wheels – IMDb score: 7.5/10
  • Into the Badlands – IMDb score: 7.4/10
  • Mad Men – IMDb score: 8.1/10
  • The Walking Dead – IMDb score:7.3/10
  • TURN: Washington’s Spies – IMDb score:7.6/10

It can be seen from the IMDb score that the AMC series is worth watching.

Owner of AMC Networks

With its headquarters in Penn Plaza, New York, AMC is currently run by Josh Sapan, who is the President and CEO. The Dolan family owns the network with 67 percent voting power. Charles Dolan, a dropout of John Carroll University, started Sterling Movies USA, which involved distributing movies to hotels. That led to the development of distributing content from one location by connecting New York City hotels. This idea was the start of Sterling Manhattan Cable, an ambitious project of connecting households. The first program he offered was New York Knicks and Rangers play-offs exclusively on cable.

The next venture was “The Green Channel,” which offered commercial-free sports and movie programming for those willing to pay. Then, throughout the 1970s and 80s, he focused on developing new network and programming launches, resulting in him taking Cablevision public. And the other important person, who has led AMC Network since 1995, leading the overall management of AMC, IFC, Sundance TV, WE tv and BBC America, AMC Studios, AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK, and 25/7 Media Holdings LLC.

He has also been responsible for creating critically acclaimed tv shows – “The Walking Dead,” “Killing Eve,” “Portlandia,” “Better Call Saul,” “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” which made the AMC Network, the only cable network to get nominated for ten years in a row and also winning for four consecutive years. Sapan was the one who led the network into scripted original programming in 2007, with “Broken Trail,” which won 4 Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2010, he led to “The Walking Dead,” which was created in the company in house production and distribution. Josh Sapan took AMC Networks and mainstream media to a whole new level with the original content and innovative ideas. He was a pioneer in many ways and made AMC a profitable venture.

Also read What’s An Executive? – How to Become an Executive?

Who Owns AMC? – History and Series

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