AMC And 'The Walking Dead' Bring Good News To Shareholders

AMC is the powerhouse cable network that has brought fans The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and many more outstanding fan-frenzy shows over the years. With previous reports that AMC stocks were in trouble, good news has finally come down the pipeline for the entertainment company and its No. 1 cable drama, The Walking Dead.

Although Season 7A of The Walking Dead started out rough, even with it massive premiere, the tides of public sentiment seem to be turning in favor of AMC and loyal fans of The Walking Dead. But the people who are really getting a breath of fresh air are the stockholders who may have been looking to divest themselves from AMC following the sagging 2016 ratings of The Walking Dead.

But now those fears seem to have been put to rest, as reported by Variety. Even though The Walking Dead did struggle following the entrance of Negan and his merry band of Saviors, the show seems to have rebounded and caught back up with its heavy ratings that have caused it to become a pop culture phenomenon.

The fourth quarter and full year report from AMC clearly showed investors that The Walking Dead is not in the decline that many had previously thought. Although it has lost some of its core membership, it has been mostly negligible to the true value of AMC's stock, which has risen 6 percent.

There has been some efforts at AMC to produce more original programming that is wholly owned, but it has mostly leaned on the ratings and successes of The Walking Dead to bring its biggest advertising dollars with the departure of other fan favorites like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. But most of those efforts have been unable to produce much fruit.

The CEO of AMC Networks, Josh Sapan, gave some really good news to investors, though, in regard to The Walking Dead.

"It [The Walking Dead] will have a long life that accrues to our strategic benefit," Josh Sapan told investors on a conference call. "This is an approach we're replicating with many other shows. We think the company is becoming, and has become, more of a studio, as opposed to a channel operator."

There was also the digital reach that The Walking Dead has been producing for AMC, which has also translated into some big advertising dollars for the cable network. That is something that Josh Sapan made sure to get across to investors and he coupled that with the growing business model of AMC.

"With a rapidly expanding studio business, we now have a growing portfolio of shows that we own that provide this kind of opportunity for our business," Josh Sapan said. "In addition, we are embracing changing viewing habits by making strategic investments in streaming services that fit well with our programming and the audiences at our network brands."

Even though The Walking Dead is the anchor show for AMC, it is not the only investment that the cable company is making in order to keep the channel alive and prosperous. With so many different original shows and programming coming out every year, AMC has set its sights on a growing audience that returns for more.

"When you're in the business of selling subscribers a service and you want them to connect at a price and you want them to stay and continue to re-up every month, if it's not supported by a bundled IP or telephony product, especially, the five AMC Networks channels are a wise choice to include," Josh Sapan said.

There does indeed seem to be a growing loyal audience for AMC shows like The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, and Halt and Catch Fire. But it is unclear at this time just how AMC intends to expand its viewer base with new shows this year and over the next 16 months.

[Featured Image by John Sciulli/Getty Images for AMC]