Demand 'Walking Dead' Fuels Growth AMC

AMC Networks, riding a surge of interest in the scripted dramas it shows on its flagship AMC cable network, said net income in the first quarter rose 16.1% due to the popularity of such programs as the apocalyptic zombie serial “The Walking Dead.”

The owner of AMC, IFC, We and Sundance Channel, said net income rose to $71.4 million, or 98 cents per share, compared with $61.5 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 37.3% to $524.5 million, compared with nearly $382 million in the year-earlier quarter.

At the company’s U.S. networks, revenue rose 20.7% to $449 million, compared with $371.6 million in the year-earlier period. The company said revenue growth in the segment was driven largely by a 26.8% increase in ad revenue, due primarily for demand for original programming at AMC. The most recent cycle of “The Walking Dead,” which generated chatter for portraying one child murdering another, began in the first quarter.

The company’s revenue from overseas operations also increased, largely due to its acquisition of programming unit Chellomedia.

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