/// Sundance Channel Goes Ad-Supported
After five years of generating revenue through limited sponsorships, Sundance Channel on Sept. 30 will transform itself into a fully ad-supported network. The move comes as the AMC Networks property promotes its upcoming scripted drama series Rectify (April 22) and the recently green-lit The Descendants. To that end, AMCN is marketing and airing Rectify across networks. Following its premiere on Sundance, Ray McKinnon’s psychological drama will encore on AMC on April 28, leading out of Mad Men. AMCN COO Ed Carroll said he believes Sundance needs to have a bigger presence in the basic cable ecosystem. “We’ve succeeded in growing its footprint…and we’ve been ramping up the investment in originals,” Carroll said. Both of those points bear fleshing out. While AMCN has a new deal in place with DirecTV, Sundance is still only in about 50.2 million households. (By way of comparison, per the company’s most recent earnings filing, flagship AMC reaches 98.9 million subs.) In order to move the needle, AMCN CEO Josh Sapan has vowed to pump more cash into Sundance. “Pointedly, we think that it’s sort of undernourished and really is both in need of [money] and rich with opportunity,” Sapan said on the company’s most recent earnings call, adding that AMC is a “pretty good example” of a network that has paid off on its programming investment.
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Sundance Channel Goes Ad-Supported