AMC Bucks Weak TV Market. You Know How.

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It's been a sluggish ad season for much of TV, but AMC Networks CFO Sean Sullivan sounded a different note on advertising when the company reported its earnings Thursday:

It should benefit from our stronger original programming lineup across all of our domestic networks, but most notably at AMC.

That wasn't just a prediction. Ad revenue shot up 24.3% during the fourth quarter to $255 million, according to the company, boosted both notably and predictably by the ratings juggernaut "The Walking Dead." The sheer size of the show's audience and its high concentration of young men is a combination that many competitors just can't match, which helps explain why AMC is already making a spin-off.

Elsewhere in its group, the company plans to take advantage of its 49.9% stake in BBC America during the approaching upfronts, pitching advertisers on its upscale audience. When it comes to launching an over-the-top distribution platform as others are doing, company President-CEO Josh Sapan said the first priority is supporting on-demand TV Everywhere initiatives for paying cable and satellite subscribers.

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