AMC Networks International to Rebrand MGM Channel as AMC, Push Growth Abroad

Halt and Catch Fire Mackenzie Davis Lee Pace - H 2014

To replicate the network's U.S. success, the rebranded channel will premiere such AMC Networks originals as "The Divide" and "Halt and Catch Fire" and show films from the MGM, Paramount and Sony libraries.

LONDON — AMC Networks' international arm is rebranding its MGM Channel as AMC, giving its flagship network brand an international push.

The revamp marks the first time that AMC will have distribution outside of North America, the firm said. AMC has become a popular cable network in the U.S. in recent years with such original shows as Mad Men and The Walking Dead.

"‎AMC will begin launching locally versioned channel feeds on key cable and satellite platforms across Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East later this year," the company said. Accompanying these channels will be authenticated AMC VOD, HD and TV Everywhere services.

AMC Networks originals Halt and Catch Fire, a computer-business drama that airs on AMC in the U.S., and WE tv legal drama The Divide will be among the first original series to premiere on the channel internationally in an exclusive first TV window this year, according to the company. In addition to premiering originals from AMC Networks' own studio, AMC will feature films from the MGM, Paramount and Sony film libraries internationally.

"In recent years, AMC has redefined dramatic storytelling on pay TV via its cinematic approach to original series, including The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad," said AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll. "It is our intention to replicate our successful U.S. strategy, extending the AMC brand worldwide and creating a broad pipeline for our original content."

Added Bruce Tuchman, president of AMC Global and Sundance Channel Global: "There is a huge appetite for AMC original programming abroad. That interest, coupled with our successful history of curating films from all the major studios to complement our original programming, gives us a great opportunity to make AMC Global a top-tier entertainment destination worldwide."
John Malone's international cable operator Liberty Global and Spain's Telefonica will be among the first pay TV firms to offer the rebranded network.

Last month, AMC Networks announced the rebranding of its Chellomedia business, which included the MGM Channel, to AMC Networks International. It had acquired Chellomedia from Liberty Global for $1 billion. 

Twitter: @georgszalai