AMC Networks has agreed to purchase a 49.9% stake in BBC America from BBC Worldwide for $200 million.
BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1% equity stake in the cable channel, while AMC Networks will have operational control of BBCA, including affiliate and advertising sales, though it will still be consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies.
AMC Networks will manage BBCA as a standalone channel within its portfolio that includes AMC, IFC, WE tv and SundanceTV. The channel is currently available in 80 million U.S. homes, featuring shows from the BBC mothership in the U.K. such as Sherlock and Doctor Who, as well as BBCA original Orphan Black.
Adding BBCA to its portfolio should give AMC Networks increased leverage in carriage talks with pay TV operators.
BBC Worldwide North America will continue as a wholly owned regional business within BBC Worldwide.
"A combined AMC Networks-BBC America channel group creates a powerful collection of networks that are among the most critically-acclaimed, with distinct dramas and other potent content that creates a deep connection with viewers. Our content rises to the top on many levels and is particularly well-suited to an era of on-demand viewing and expanding consumer choice," said Josh Sapan, AMC Networks President and CEO.
BBC and AMC Networks had previously collaborated on dramas for SundanceTV such as Top of the Lake, The Honourable Woman and the upcoming One Child.