New Life for the Zombies of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’

The zombie apocalypse is spreading! Last week, Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA  ) syndication arm MyNetworkTV inked a deal to be the exclusive broadcast home for AMC Networks' (NASDAQ: AMCX  ) The Walking Dead.

MyNetworkTV will begin broadcasting edited episodes of AMC's The Walking Dead this fall. Credit: AMC Networks.

MyNetworkTV broadcasts through Fox affiliate stations around the country, including WWOR in New York, KCOP in Los Angeles, and WPWR in Chicago. Episodes airing this fall are likely to comply with common network standards and practices, which means cutting at least a portion of the show's well-established vulgarity and violence.

How that'll impact syndicated viewership remains to be seen. In the meantime, Fox says that MyNetworkTV reaches 97% of the country and ranks fifth among broadcast and cable networks in total households, eighth among 18-49 year olds, and seventh among those aged 25-54. Good numbers for key demographics.

A promise fulfilled
Neither company disclosed financial details of the arrangement. And yet there's still reason for AMC investors to cheer. Why? In May 2012, chief executive Josh Sapan spoke about the long-term potential for broadcast syndication in the wake of selling prior-season streaming rights to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) .

At the time, Sapan said the Netflix deal was "improving ratings" of current-season airings of The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men. "For us, the data suggests that this delayed digital distribution is in fact increasing linear viewership and in turn driving the value of the paid ecosystem," Sapan said.

When asked if the streaming deal might come at the expense of syndication elsewhere, Sapan wouldn't preclude a domestic TV syndication deal. Instead, he figured such an agreement would be "significantly reduced" as compared to what AMC might get from Netflix and its peers. We'll have to wait for the next quarterly report to see how right he was.

In the meantime, MyNetworkTV is purchasing rights to AMC's The Walking Dead just weeks after Sony sold Comcast the rights to sell House of Cards episodes through its Xfinity store. The message? The tables have turned. Once barely more than a destination for broadcast TV reruns, upstart cable and streaming networks are now selling their best to the broadcasters.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Have you been watching AMC's The Walking Dead? Leave a comment to let us know whether you think the show can succeed in broadcast syndication, and whether you would buy, sell, or short AMC stock at current prices.

6 stock picks poised for incredible growth
They said it couldn't be done. But David Gardner has proved them wrong time, and time, and time again with stock returns like 926%, 2,239%, and 4,371%. In fact, just recently one of his favorite stocks became a 100-bagger. And he's ready to do it again. You can uncover his scientific approach to crushing the market and his carefully chosen six picks for ultimate growth instantly, because he's making this premium report free for you today. Click here now for access.


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2014, at 2:46 PM, MamaMia wrote:

    Well this is the end of The Walking Dead, if they have to cut things out people will not watch it, sure to go down like Breakin Bad and Mad Men. if you have to cut out the gory parts and this becomes a G version of what we have become to love, that is why I pay for my AMC.....might as well stop watching now, this sucks....they see the high ratings and the record breaking viewership then here they want to chnge it nd not for the better.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2014, at 6:25 PM, burr1t0 wrote:

    no no no, you misread the article, the show will still air on AMC but reruns will be on mynetwork tv, they'll just be a more FCC compliant show, season 5 will still air on AMC and on but older episodes will air on regular tv, so really theres nothing to worry about, you'll still get the same bloody and gory show on AMC

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2897540, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/20/2014 7:32:37 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement