In 2018, Sapan had made $20.6 million, following $29.6 million in 2017, $30.5 million in 2016, $17.7 million in 2015 and $40.3 million in 2014, when he benefited from an amended and restated employment agreement that included a onetime special equity retention award.
Last year, Sapan earned a $2 million salary and no bonus, the same as in the previous two fiscal years. His stock awards in 2020 came to $5.5 million, well down from $13.8 million in stock awards in 2019. And Sapan’s non-equity incentive plan compensation at $4.23 million in 2020 was roughly in line with the same amount he received in that category during the previous two years.
The company behind The Walking Dead home AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv disclosed the annual compensation for Sapan and other top executives in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
AMC Networks COO Edward Carroll earned $6.68 million in total compensation last year, down from an overall pay package of $8.41 million in 2019. And CFO Sean Sullivan saw his pay package last year fall to $2.25 million, compared to $5.1 million in 2019.
AMC Networks beat its 2020 streaming subscriber goal, ending the year with more than 6 million as its four niche streamers, namely Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and allblk, formerly UMC, grew faster amid stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its AMC+, which features the best of AMC, BBC America, IFC and SundanceTV, plus more, has also done well.
As a result, the company raised its longer-term forecast and now expects to reach more than 9 million streaming subscribers by year-end 2021 and 20 million to 25 million by 2025.
AMC Networks stock fell more than 10 percent in 2020. Its net income dropped 37 percent.
Despite the pandemic, “2020 was a year of strong performance for AMC Networks, as we continued to transform our company while successfully navigating what has been a uniquely challenging and uncertain operating environment,” Sapan said earlier this year. “AMC Networks is now the worldwide leader in targeted streaming and, with the addition of our new AMC+ premium bundled offering, streaming is now the most significant growth area of our company.”
He added: “Our proven and continued ability to create and selectively curate must-have content is allowing us to feed the content pipeline supporting all of our offerings. Our strategy is providing us with strong tailwinds, and we believe there are significant and sustainable opportunities before us as we continue to reconstitute our company.”