'Breaking Bad' Deal to Be Done 'Fairly Soon,' AMC Networks CEO Hopes


Josh Sapan says his company's cable network AMC is "actively working" on a new arrangement with studio Sony.

NEW YORK - AMC Networks president and CEO Josh Sapan said Thursday that he hopes to have a new deal with producer Sony that would keep hit show Breaking Bad on his company's AMC network "fairly soon."

Speaking on cable networks owner AMC Networks first earnings conference call as a standalone company, Sapan said AMC is "actively working" on a new arrangement with Sony.

He called Sony a "great partner" and emphasized that AMC likes the show and would love to reach a resolution to continue airing it. But Sapan didn't provide a likely timeframe for such a resolution.

As reported, there have been rumblings that the show has been shopped around amid contract battles between the studio and network.

Breaking Bad co-executive producer Sam Catlin recently said he was "hopeful" that the show would remain on AMC.

The network previously also had a contract showdown over Mad Men, and it recently fired Frank Darabont as showrunner of its biggest ratings hit The Walking Dead.

On Thursday's call, analysts asked Sapan about his company's interest in owning more digital rights to its shows. AMC Networks' WE tv, Sundance Channel and IFC typically own more digital rights, while AMC uses more studio partners on shows, Sapan said. Those partners get more ancillary rights, with his firm getting certain percentages, he added.

"We would like to own and control more if the risk profile is right," Sapan concluded, highlighting that it all depends on the show and its performance. "Where we can, we'll own more rights where we think it's prudent."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

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