Premium broadcaster AMC has bought a big stake in BBC America.
The broadcaster has acquired a 49.9% stake in BBC America with the corporation retaining a 50.1% stake in the company. AMC bought its stake for around $200million, BBC America is one of the commercial arms of the BBC. The deal means AMC will take over advertising sales and distribution, in America, but the channel will still be run inline with BBC editorial standards.
BBC America is home to some of the UK’s most popular programmes (not just those aired on the BBC in the UK) such as Doctor Who, Torchwood, Atlantis and Luther as well as Broadchurch and Law & Order UK.
In recent years BBC America has tried to produce more original content such as Copper, Orphan Black and Ripper Street. Ripper Street was a co-production between BBC America and BBC One, which aired the drama in the UK, but when the police drama was cancelled after two seasons it was picked up by Amazon Prime Instant Video.
AMC is home to global hits such as The Walking Dead and Mad Men which originally aired on BBC Four in the UK before being poached by BSkyB. AMC and the BBC have collaborated on several projects previously such as The Honourable Woman which starred Maggie Gyllenhal and Top of the Lake which starred Elisabeth Moss. Producers of Top of the Lake are currently working on a second series.
The deal means that there will more collaborations between AMC and the BBC as the two will jointly invest in future productions.