AMC's Sarah Barnett: Streaming Wars Could Mean Focus on "Huge Business Interests"

Courtesy of subject
Sarah Barnett

"We could be in danger of everyone looking to serve global needs and huge business interests in the same way as has happened with studios," the president of AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios warned at a London conference.

The "streaming wars" between Hollywood giants could lead to a homogenization of television content, Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios, warned at a London TV conference on Thursday.

"When conglomerates compete, something happens. I think that the streaming wars can potentially put us in danger of less risk" in "the race to fill pipelines," she said at C21's Content London. "We could be in danger of everyone looking to serve global needs and huge business interests in the same way as has happened with movie studios. I think that streaming wars could mean that risks don't get taken."

That could particularly affect "niche scripted" fare, she argued. "I hope that the outlets that have really driven so much amazing television … continue to flourish," Barnett added. "I hope that really smart storytelling doesn't start to flatten out."

She concluded that "there needs to be a place in the landscape for the true curatorial approach," saying that this is where players like AMC have the opportunity to shine with "really distinct shows."

Barnett at the London event also discussed such upcoming AMC series as Kevin Can F*** Himself, For Life, 61st Street and Jason Segel's Dispatches From Elsewhere. She showed clips for the Segel show and the much-anticipated third season of Killing Eve, saying that show fits AMC's focus on "incredibly fresh" series.