Breaking Bad

AMC's Josh Sapan: American television is a business of numbers

Josh Sapan

Josh Sapan was welcomed as “the real deal, one of the greats of American cable and the television industry” by his interviewer, Tim Davie. Not only that, the audience learned that Sapan was cut from a different cloth to most US TV executives because he understood British humour.

That’s germane because Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks, landed a 49.9% stake in BBC America (for $200m) in October 2014.

“We are cousins of the BBC, married into the family, a delight for me,” said the donnish-looking, New York-based cable veteran.

BT launches AMC UK channel

Pay-TV platform BT TV is hoping that an unfolding zombie apocalypse will help it bite out a bigger share of a competitive UK market dominated by Sky. Fear the Walking Dead, the much-­anticipated spin-off show of US flesh-­eating drama the Walking Dead, is airing exclusively on BT TV as the flagship drama for the first AMC-branded channel in the UK.

It is part of a wider deal struck in June between US cable operator AMC Networks and BT TV.

TV vs Digital: A match made in heaven?

I Made it in Digital

RTS Futures assembled a panel of pioneers for its sold-out event at London's Hospital Club in late April, "I made it in... digital". An enthusiastic, youthful audience was eager to learn from their experiences of working at the cutting edge of new media. It learnt, perhaps surprisingly, that television – the dancing dad at an achingly hip party – still has a big role to play in the digital age.

AMC Networks' Josh Sapan on deal-making

Josh Sapan

AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan lays claim to having the world’s largest collection of antique lightning rods. "They’re architectural and a form of industrial art. I just got captivated by them," he explains.

One or two of them can be found lying around his office on Penn Plaza, a few blocks from the Empire State Building, alongside examples of another passion. This is his collection of panoramic photographs of people and places from the last century.