Entertainment & Arts

US network AMC buys into BBC America in $200m deal

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men Image copyright AP
Image caption Mad Men, one of AMC's biggest hit shows, has run for seven seasons

US TV network AMC, which aired Mad Men and The Walking Dead, is to take over the running of BBC America after a $200m (£125m) deal with the BBC.

BBC America is available in almost 80 million homes in the US via cable and satellite.

AMC has bought a 49.9% stake in the channel, while the corporation's commercial arm BBC Worldwide will retain 50.1%.

BBC Worldwide chief executive Tim Davie said AMC was the "ideal partner".

"They are committed to the kind of high-quality, unmissable content that has already gained BBC America one of the most educated, affluent and tech savvy audiences in all of US television," he said.

BBC director general Tony Hall said the deal would "help us reach new audiences in the US, strengthen BBC America's position for the long term and create opportunities for the UK creative community".

Quality drama

The broadcasters have already co-produced dramas including The Honourable Woman. "This partnership means we can produce even more top quality drama together," Mr Hall said.

BBC America will be managed as a standalone channel within the AMC Networks portfolio, which also includes Sundance TV and more than 60 international channels.

But the channel will be run in line with BBC's editorial standards and policies.

Ed Carroll from AMC Networks said: "Orphan Black and Doctor Who are just two examples of bold and original BBC America content that creates passionate viewers and fits well alongside AMC Networks shows such as Mad Men, Portlandia and Rectify."

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