- RLJ Entertainment’s Ad-Free Subscription Video Services Acorn TV and UMC (Urban Movie Channel) Continue Strong Growth
- Acorn TV and UMC Combined Exceeded 900K Paying Subscribers at the end of Q3 and are Now Approaching One Million
- Acorn TV and UMC Add to AMC Networks’ Growing Platform of Direct-to-Consumer Subscription Services that Connect with Passionate Audiences through Compelling Content
- RLJ Entertainment Becomes a Privately-Owned Subsidiary of AMC Networks, with a Minority Stake Held by Robert L. Johnson
NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2018) — AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) today announced that it completed the acquisition of RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) after RLJ Entertainment’s stockholders approved the transaction at a special meeting on October 31, 2018. AMC Networks acquired all of the shares of common stock of RLJE not owned by Robert L. Johnson, AMC Networks or their respective affiliates for approximately $59 million in cash, or $6.25 per share of common stock. RLJ Entertainment is now a privately-owned subsidiary of AMC Networks, with Mr. Johnson and his affiliates owning a stake of 17%.
RLJ Entertainment has created two rapidly growing subscription streaming services: Acorn TV, known for its high-quality British and international mysteries and dramas; and UMC, which offers films, documentaries, original series and comedy for African-American and urban audiences. In addition, RLJ Entertainment owns a majority stake in Agatha Christie Ltd., which represents an exceptionally popular world-class franchise.
“This acquisition furthers AMC Networks’ direct-to-consumer strategy and accelerates our interests in subscription video-on-demand services that we own and control,” said Josh Sapan, AMC Networks President and CEO. “We have tremendous respect for RLJ Entertainment’s management team, who have done an exceptional job growing this business and creating powerful direct-to-consumer streaming services in Acorn TV and UMC that reach highly-targeted audiences with popular content, and are now approaching one million subscribers.”
Added Sapan: “Moreover, as we continue to focus on owning more IP and extending our content franchises, Agatha Christie Ltd. represents a great addition to our portfolio.”
Robert L. Johnson, RLJ Entertainment’s Founder and Chairman, stated, “AMC Networks is a great home for the business we have built at RLJE. Josh and his team understand better than anyone that serving audiences with great content that fits their unique interests is a powerful and compelling proposition. It is at the core of their terrific success in building AMC Networks into one of the foremost creators of high-quality content worldwide. With AMC Networks’ experienced management team, high creative standards and deep expertise in building powerful brands, I see a very bright future ahead for our business.”
Added Miguel Penella, Chief Executive Officer of RLJ Entertainment, “Our businesses each serve unique audiences and have a strong connection to their viewers. AMC Networks has been an ideal partner as we developed Acorn TV and UMC as preferred destinations and must-have subscriptions for their respective audiences. We will benefit greatly from their continued support, strong management team and their breadth of experience as we continue to grow our business.”
The growth of Acorn TV has been driven most recently by the current release of A Place to Call Home. Other key original programs coming soon to Acorn TV are Agatha Raisin, Queens of Mystery and London Kills. UMC is also increasingly bringing original programs to its audience. UMC Original Series released in 2018 and in continued development, include Monogamy and 5th Ward. Recent noteworthy releases from RLJE Films include Mandy, Arizona and Galveston.
RLJ Entertainment owns a majority interest in Agatha Christie Limited, which manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. Last year’s 21st Century Fox Kenneth Branagh-directed adaptation of “Murder on the Orient Express” grossed more than $350 million in worldwide box office. Forthcoming adaptations include 21st Century Fox’s “Death on the Nile” sequel as well as the BBC’s recent multi-show deal with Agatha Christie Productions for seven dramas based on the author’s works.
About AMC Networks Inc.
AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX) owns and operates several of cable television’s most recognized brands delivering high quality content to audiences and a valuable platform to distributors and advertisers. AMC Networks manages its business through two operating segments: (i) National Networks, which principally includes AMC, WE tv, BBC AMERICA, IFC and SundanceTV; and AMC Studios, AMC Networks’ television production business; and (ii) International and Other, which principally includes AMC Networks International, AMC Networks’ international programming business; IFC Films, AMC Networks’ independent film distribution business; and AMC Networks’ owned subscription streaming services, Sundance Now and Shudder. For more information on AMC Networks, please visit its website at http://www.amcnetworks.com.