Sapan has headed AMC Networks since its inception in 2011, when the company was spun out from Cablevision. AMC is home to a clutch of prominent cable channels — including AMC, SundanceTV and BBC America — but it is increasingly embracing niche streaming services amid the broader changes in the pay TV landscape.
Sapan’s base salary of $2 million a year is unchanged from his previous pact. The new deal was set on Dec. 11, AMC said Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The pact specifies that in 2022 AMC and Sapan both have the option of shifting his role to vice chairman so long as each side gives the other 90 days notice.
Sapan has been candid about the challenges that a classic cable programmer like AMC is facing in the current business climate.
On AMC’s earnings call last month, Sapan emphasized the growth of the company’s streaming services, noting that “AMC Networks fast becoming the global leader in subscription video-on-demand services for targeted audiences.”
AMC’s roster includes Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC. Sapan told investors that the services “serve defined audiences with curated programming.”
The AMC cabler is anchored by “The Walking Dead” franchise and its spinoffs and prestige dramas including “Better Call Saul.” Sapan noted that the challenge at present is to balance investment in linear cable that still drives the bulk of the company’s revenue while also looking ahead to the streaming future.
“The nicest thing for our company that we see is that our cherished MVPD partners are embracing our linear offerings and our SVOD offerings,” Sapan said. “And they see us as a stable, high quality, reliable, integrated provider on both sides of the house.”
Sapan joined Cablevision’s Rainbow Media unit in 1987 and was named president in 1995.