SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|☑||Annual report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022
|☐||Transition report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934|
For the transition period from to
Commission File Number: 1-35106
AMC Networks Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
11 Penn Plaza, New York, NY
|(Address of principal executive offices)|| ||(Zip Code)|
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Class A Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share||AMCX|
The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company (as defined in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2).
|Large accelerated filer||☑||Accelerated filer||☐|
|Non-accelerated filer||☐||Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☑
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to § 240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No þ
The aggregate market value of the registrant's common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the closing price of a share of common stock on June 30, 2022 (the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $879 million.
The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of February 10, 2023:
|Class A Common Stock par value $0.01 per share||31,524,521 |
|Class B Common Stock par value $0.01 per share||11,484,408 |
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:
Certain information required in Item 10 through Item 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is incorporated herein by reference to the Registrant's definitive Proxy Statement for its 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which shall be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, within 120 days of the Registrant's fiscal year end.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In this Annual Report on Form 10-K there are statements concerning our future operating results and future financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "may," "will," "should," "could," "potential," "continue," "intends," "plans" and similar words and terms used in the discussion of future operating results and future financial performance identify forward-looking statements. You are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties and that actual results or developments may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that may cause such differences to occur include, but are not limited to:
•the level of our revenues;
•market demand, including changes in viewer consumption patterns, for our programming networks, our subscription streaming services, our programming, and our production services;
•demand for advertising inventory and our ability to deliver guaranteed viewer ratings;
•the highly competitive nature of the cable, telecommunications, streaming and programming industries;
•the cost of, and our ability to obtain or produce, desirable content for our programming services, other forms of distribution, including digital and licensing in international markets, as well as our film distribution businesses;
•market demand for our owned original programming and our film content;
•the loss of any of our key personnel and artistic talent;
•the security of our program rights and other electronic data;
•our ability to maintain and renew distribution or affiliation agreements with distributors;
•our ability to successfully launch our streaming services in countries outside of the United States;
•economic and business conditions and industry trends in the countries in which we operate, including increases in inflation rates and recession risk;
•fluctuations in currency exchange rates and interest rates;
•changes in domestic and foreign laws or regulations under which we operate;
•changes in laws or treaties relating to taxation, or the interpretation thereof, in the United States or in the countries in which we operate;
•the impact of existing and proposed federal, state and international laws and regulations relating to data protection, privacy and security, including the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR");
•our substantial debt and high leverage;
•reduced access to capital markets or significant increases in costs to borrow;
•the level of our expenses;
•future acquisitions and dispositions of assets;
•our ability to successfully acquire new businesses and, if acquired, to integrate, and implement our plan with respect to businesses we acquire;
•problems we may discover post-closing with the operations, including the internal controls and financial reporting process, of businesses we acquire;
•uncertainties regarding the financial results of equity method investees, issuers of our investments in marketable equity securities and non-marketable equity securities and changes in the nature of key strategic relationships with partners and joint ventures;
•the outcome of litigation and other proceedings;
•whether pending uncompleted transactions, if any, are completed on the terms and at the times set forth (if at all);
•other risks and uncertainties inherent in our programming and streaming businesses;
•financial community and rating agency perceptions of our business, operations, financial condition and the industry in which we operate;
•the impact of pandemics or other health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on the economy and our business;
•events that are outside our control, such as political unrest in international markets, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and other similar events; and
•the factors described under Item 1A, "Risk Factors" in this Annual Report.
We disclaim any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein, except as otherwise required by applicable federal securities laws.
Item 1. Business.
AMC Networks Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its principal executive offices located at 11 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001. AMC Networks Inc. is a holding company and conducts substantially all of its operations through its majority owned or controlled subsidiaries. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to "we," "our," "us," "AMC Networks" or the "Company" refer to AMC Networks Inc., together with its subsidiaries. "AMC Networks Inc." refers to AMC Networks Inc. individually as a separate entity. Our telephone number is (212) 324-8500.
AMC Networks Inc. was incorporated on March 9, 2011 as an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (Cablevision Systems Corporation and its subsidiaries are referred to as "Cablevision"). On June 30, 2011, Cablevision spun off the Company (the "Distribution"), and AMC Networks Inc. became an independent public company.
AMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and award-winning content. We distribute our content to audiences globally on an array of distribution platforms, including linear networks and subscription streaming services, as well as through licensing arrangements. We have an extensive library of television and film properties that we own and control, including several storied franchises such as The Walking Dead Universe, Anne Rice catalog, and Agatha Christie library that are well-known to a global audience.
We have operated in the entertainment industry for more than 40 years, and over that time we have created targeted and focused video entertainment products that we own and operate and that are powered by distinguished brands, including AMC, AMC+, BBC AMERICA (which we operate through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK, HIDIVE and IFC Films. Our distinctive, critically-acclaimed content spans multiple genres, including drama, documentary, comedy, reality, anime, anthology, feature film and short form. Our content and our brands are well known and well regarded by our key constituents — our viewers and subscribers as well as distributors and advertisers. Our network, streaming and show brands have developed strong, dedicated followings within their respective targeted demographics, increasing their value to our key constituents. Through our AMC Studios in-house studio, production and distribution operation, we own and control a significant portion of the original scripted series that we deliver to viewers on our linear and streaming platforms. Our ability to produce and own high quality content has provided us with the opportunity to license our owned content to leading third-party platforms. Our owned content as well as the content that we license is distributed domestically and internationally across linear networks, digital streaming services, home video and syndication.
Internationally, we deliver programming that reaches subscribers in approximately 110 countries and territories around the world. The international division of the Company, AMC Networks International ("AMCNI"), consists of our premier AMC global brand as well as a portfolio of popular, locally recognized brands delivering programming in a wide range of genres.
AMC Networks also operates IFC Films, a film distribution business that distributes independent narrative and documentary films under the IFC Films label as well as the IFC Midnight distribution label. IFC Films is known for attracting high-profile talent and distributing films that regularly garner critical acclaim and industry honors, including numerous Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Cannes Film Festival Award winning titles, and has been behind some of the most culturally impactful and successful independent film and documentary releases of all time. IFC Films also operates IFC Films Unlimited, a subscription streaming service comprised of a broad range of theatrically-released and award winning titles from its distribution labels.
Our strategy is to create, showcase and curate high-quality, brand-defining content that appeals to distinct audiences as we maximize our distribution, advertising and content licensing revenue of each of our branded services.
Our strategic areas of focus are:
Continued Development of High-Quality Original Content. We intend to continue developing strong high-quality original content across our linear networks and streaming services to optimize our distribution, advertising and content licensing revenue, further enhance our brands, strengthen our engagement with our viewers, subscribers, distributors and advertisers, and to build viewership and attract and retain subscribers for our streaming services.
Increased Ownership and Control of Content and Valuable IP. AMC Networks’ wholly-owned or majority-controlled library includes more than 6,000 episodes and 1,300 films, as well as more than 20,000 episodes of highly localized unscripted lifestyle content from our AMC Networks International business. In addition, we have storied titles and brands known to a global audience, such as The Walking Dead and the Anne Rice catalog, and we own a majority interest in the Agatha Christie library.
By leveraging our library of titles and original content, we are able to enrich the content mix across all of our linear and streaming platforms. As some current content licensing deals with third parties expire, hundreds of hours of our popular and acclaimed shows and films will become an exclusive part of our owned and controlled library which we can then utilize across our various services or re-license to third parties, including critically acclaimed hit series, such as Halt and Catch Fire, Turn, and Rectify, as well as all 11 seasons of The Walking Dead, to be discovered and rediscovered by viewers and subscribers, driving growth and value across our portfolio.
Develop and Grow Streaming Offerings and Brands. Our targeted streaming strategy is to serve distinct audiences and build loyal and engaged fan communities around each service. With our targeted approach, we are serving audiences with streaming offerings that are companions to (rather than competitive with) the larger general entertainment streaming services. As we assess the optimal level and mix of programming across our platforms, we will prioritize curation to provide compelling offerings that maximize impact on subscriber engagement and retention.
We have launched several of our services, most notably AMC+, Acorn TV and Shudder, in key international markets, including Canada, the United Kingdom (the "U.K."), parts of Europe, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. We will continue to be opportunistic in determining the most optimal monetization strategy for new international markets.
Multi-Platform Content Monetization and Distribution. We distribute our content across other platforms so that our viewers can access our content where, when and how they want it. To that end, we have partnerships with all major streaming services and digital platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Roku, to make our content available on various platforms permitting subscribers to access programs at their convenience, including electronic-sell-through (EST) and physical (DVD and Blu-ray) formats.
Growth and Innovation in Advertising. We continue to leverage our high-quality popular content on our networks to optimize our advertising revenue. In addition, we are embracing an array of new advertising opportunities, including an expanding and robust presence on free ad-supported streaming (FAST) and advertising video on demand (AVOD) platforms. To date, we have launched a total of 15 distinct channels featuring our content, in different configurations, across major FAST platforms, such as Pluto TV, Sling TV and Samsung TV Plus. We have increased the value of our linear and digital advertising inventory by establishing a leadership position in advanced advertising technologies, including addressable advertising and programmatic buying, to make it easier for a wider variety of advertisers to partner with us and to make the impressions they buy smarter and more effective. We have seen the number of advertisers utilizing these tools increase and our targeted audience advertising sales have grown as a result. In addition to our own initiatives, we are also participating in broader industry efforts focused on expanding the availability of addressable advertising. We believe our products enhance our value to advertisers through better targeting, data and measurement and we believe they will contribute to growth of our overall business in the mid and long term.
We continue to create opportunities for leading consumer brands to leverage the strength of our content and our proven ability to build and engage large, vibrant and passionate fan communities around our shows and franchises. Through an initiative called the AMC Networks “Content Room,” we offer brands and advertisers opportunities to reach fans of our shows and franchises in compelling and innovative ways including through custom short-form content, on social media platforms and through on-the-ground live events.
We earn revenue principally from the distribution of our programming and the sale of advertising. In 2022, distribution revenues and advertising sales accounted for 72% and 28% of our consolidated revenues, net, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2022, one distributor accounted for greater than 10% of our consolidated revenues, net.
Distribution revenue primarily includes: fees charged to distributors that carry our network brands and content; subscription fees paid for our streaming services; and revenue earned from the licensing of our original programming.
Subscription revenue: Our programming networks as well as our streaming services are distributed to our viewing audience throughout the United States (“U.S.”) and around the world via cable and other multichannel video programming distribution platforms, including direct broadcast satellite ("DBS"), platforms operated by telecommunications providers, virtual or digital multi-channel video programming distributors ("MVPDs" and collectively "distributors"), and through our direct to consumer apps. Our programming networks are available on every major U.S. distribution platform. Our programming networks' distribution agreements expire at various dates through 2028. For our streaming services, we earn monthly or annual subscription fees as the streaming service is provided to our customers.
We frequently negotiate with distributors in an effort to increase the subscriber base for our networks. We have in some instances made upfront payments to distributors in exchange for these additional subscribers. We also may help fund the distributors' efforts to market our programming networks and streaming services or we may permit distributors to offer limited
promotional periods without payment of subscriber fees. As we continue our efforts to add subscribers, our subscriber revenue may be negatively affected by such deferred carriage fee arrangements, discounted subscriber fees and other payments, however, we believe that these transactions generate a positive return on investment over the contract period.
Content licensing revenue: We sell rights to our owned original programming and content acquired under long-term distribution arrangements for distribution in a variety of forms including television markets worldwide, streaming services or digital platform providers, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, electronic-sell-through (EST) and physical (DVD and Blu-ray) formats.
We earn advertising revenue by selling advertising time on our programming networks, on digital platforms we own and on an increasing number of AVOD and FAST platforms. In the U.S., we sell advertising time in both the upfront and scatter markets. In the upfront market, advertisers buy advertising time for the upcoming season, and by purchasing in advance, often receive discounted rates. In the scatter market, advertisers buy advertising time close to the time when the commercials will be run, and often pay a premium. The mix between the upfront and scatter markets is based upon a number of factors, such as pricing, demand for advertising time and economic conditions. Internationally, advertising markets vary by jurisdiction. The majority of international advertising is sold close to the time when the commercials will be run (similar to the U.S. scatter market) and we are generally represented by third-party sales agents.
Our arrangements with advertisers provide for a set number of advertising units to air over a specific period of time at a negotiated price per unit. In most domestic advertising sales arrangements, we guarantee specified viewer ratings. If these guarantees are not met, we are generally required to provide additional advertising units to the advertiser at no charge. For these types of arrangements, a portion of the related revenue is deferred if the guarantees are not met and is subsequently recognized either when we provide the required additional advertising unit or the guarantee obligation contractually expires. In the U.S., most of our advertising revenues vary based upon the popularity of our programming as measured by Nielsen. In addition to the Nielsen rating, our advertising rates are also influenced by the demographic mix of our viewing audiences, since advertisers tend to pay premium rates for more desirable demographic groups of viewers.
Our programming networks have advertisers representing companies in a broad range of sectors, including automotive, restaurants/food, health, and telecommunications industries.
Our programming strategy is to target audiences with high-quality, compelling stories and powerful brands. We obtain programming through a combination of development, production and licensing; and we distribute programming directly to consumers in the U.S. and throughout the world through our programming networks, streaming services, theatrical release of acquired films and other forms of distribution. Our programming includes original programming that we control, either through outright ownership or through long-term licensing arrangements, as well as acquired programming that we license from studios and other rights holders.
Through our AMC Studios operation, we produce owned original programming primarily for our programming networks and streaming services, and also for license to third parties worldwide. Decisions as to how to distribute programming are made on the basis of a variety of factors including the relative value of any particular alternative.
We also contract with some of the industry's leading production companies to produce original programming that appears on our programming networks and streaming services. These contractual arrangements either provide us with outright ownership of the programming, in which case we hold all programming and other rights to the content, or they consist of long-term licensing arrangements, which provide us with exclusive rights to exhibit the content on our programming networks, but may be limited in terms of specific geographic markets or distribution platforms. The license agreements are typically of multi-season duration and provide us with a right of first negotiation or a right of first refusal on the renewal of the license for additional programming seasons.
The majority of the content on our programming networks and streaming services consists of films, episodic series and specials that we acquire pursuant to rights agreements with film studios, production companies or other rights holders. This acquired programming includes episodic series such as Law and Order, The X-Files, Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, Two and a Half Men and Batman, as well as an extensive film library. The rights agreements for this content are of varying duration and generally permit our programming networks and streaming services to carry these series, films and other programming during certain window periods.
We manage our business through the following two operating segments:
•Domestic Operations: Includes our programming services and AMC Broadcasting & Technology. Our programming services consist of our five national programming networks, our global streaming services, our AMC Studios operations, and IFC Films. Our national programming networks are AMC, WE tv, BBC AMERICA, IFC, and SundanceTV. Our global streaming services consist of our targeted subscription streaming services (Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK, and HIDIVE), AMC+ and other streaming initiatives. Our AMC Studios operation produces original programming for our programming services and also licenses such programming worldwide, and IFC Films is our film distribution business. AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology, our technical services business, primarily services most of the national programming networks.
•International and Other: Includes AMC Networks International (“AMCNI”), our international programming businesses consisting of a portfolio of channels around the world, and 25/7 Media (formerly Levity), our production services business. See Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information relating to the 2021 spin-off of the Levity comedy venues business.
For financial information of the Company by operating segment, see Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Consolidated Results of Operations" and Note 23 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Programming Networks - Our programming networks consist of the following services:
•As of December 31, 2022, AMC reached approximately 70 million Nielsen subscribers and had distribution agreements with all major U.S. and Canada distributors.
•AMC is home to some of the most popular and acclaimed dramas on television, including The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable history; Fear the Walking Dead, Interview with the Vampire and Gangs of London.
•In 2022, AMC aired the epic conclusion of The Walking Dead, while expanding The Walking Dead Universe franchise, with the premiere of episodic anthology series Tales of the Walking Dead, and production on new series built around iconic characters from the franchise including The Walking Dead: Dead City; The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, and a new series centered on the epic love story of central characters Rick and Michonne. AMC also aired the sixth and final season of the critically acclaimed Better Call Saul, which was nominated for seven Emmy Awards and was the #3 cable drama for its season in key demographics.
•In 2022, AMC launched a new universe of stories built around the iconic works of author Anne Rice beginning with the premiere of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. The widely-acclaimed first season became the #1 new drama on ad-supported cable in 2022. AMC renewed the series, starring Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid, Bailey Bass, and Eric Bogosian, for a second season. In 2023 the network launched the highly anticipated Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, the second endeavor in the Anne Rice Immortal Universe, debuting on the heels of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and has renewed the series for a second season.
•AMC also premiered Dark Winds, “perhaps the most ambitious Native-led TV show ever made,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, starring Zahn McClarnon and executive produced by Robert Redford and George R.R. Martin. The series sustained a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and will return for a second season in 2023.
•AMC's film library consists of films that are licensed under long-term contracts with major studios such as Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony, MGM, NBC Universal, Paramount and Buena Vista. AMC generally structures its contracts for the exclusive cable television rights to air the films during identified window periods.
•As of December 31, 2022, WE tv reached approximately 68 million Nielsen subscribers and had distribution agreements with all major U.S. distributors.
•Driven by unscripted originals, WE tv is the #1 U.S. cable network for African American women on Friday nights and home to a popular slate of series and franchises including Love After Lockup, Life After Lockup, Marriage Boot Camp and Growing Up Hip Hop, as well as fan favorites Waka & Tammy, Brat Loves Judy and Mama June: Road to Redemption.
•In 2022, the network also premiered new unscripted series Commit or Quit with Judge Lynn Toler and Super Sized Salon as well as docuseries, Hip Hop Homicides, produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and hosted by Van Lathan.
•WE tv's programming also includes popular series CSI: Miami and Law & Order as well as feature films, with certain exclusive license rights from studios such as Paramount, MGM, Disney and Warner Bros.
•A joint venture between AMC Networks and BBC Studios (the commercial arm of the BBC), BBC AMERICA reached approximately 65 million Nielsen subscribers and had distribution agreements with all major U.S. distributors as of December 31, 2022.
•BBC AMERICA is a hub of innovative, culturally contagious programming. The network has attracted wide critical acclaim for its influential series, including Orphan Black; the timeless fan favorite Doctor Who, one of the longest running series in the world; and its highly-awarded original series Killing Eve, which has garnered Emmy, Golden Globe, Peabody, Critics’ Choice and BAFTA Awards, among others, and concluded its fourth and final season in 2022.
•BBC AMERICA is also the definitive home and co-producer of iconic nature programming from the BBC. In 2023 the network will debut Frozen Planet II, the highly anticipated sequel to the four-time Emmy®-winning series Frozen Planet.
•As of December 31, 2022, IFC reached approximately 60 million Nielsen subscribers and had distribution agreements with all major U.S. distributors.
•IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. The network’s 2022 slate included the Emmy-nominated Documentary Now!, created by Seth Meyers, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen and executive produced by Lorne Michaels, and the Critics' Choice Award-nominated Sherman’s Showcase, created by and starring Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle and executive produced by John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co. and RadicalMedia.
•IFC also continued as the broadcast home of the Independent Spirit Awards, the annual celebration of the spirited pioneers who bring a unique vision to filmmaking.
•IFC's programming also includes films from various film distributors, including Fox, Miramax, Sony, Lionsgate, Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros.
•As of December 31, 2022, SundanceTV reached approximately 58 million Nielsen subscribers and had distribution agreements with all major U.S. distributors.
•SundanceTV has remained true to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity and distinctive storytelling through unique voices and narratives since its launch in 1996.
•Working with today's most innovative talent, SundanceTV attracts viewer and critical acclaim for its original scripted programming and true-crime documentaries. In 2022, the network premiered new seasons of its True Crime Story franchise with It Couldn’t Happen Here from Hilarie Burton Morgan and Indefensible with Jena Friedman as well as the second season of the Emmy Award-winning short form anthology series State of the Union starring Brendan Gleeson and Patricia Clarkson.
The Company’s streaming portfolio of branded subscription services serve a targeted, passionate fanbase with content depth, curation and community. The content on these platforms is a mix of licensed and owned original programming. Our various services are distributed in several key markets internationally, including Canada, the U.K., parts of Europe, Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America.
Our streaming services ended 2022 with approximately 11.8 million aggregate paid streaming subscribers1.
Our streaming portfolio includes the following targeted services:
•Launched in 2020, AMC+ is the Company’s premium streaming bundle featuring an extensive lineup of popular and critically acclaimed programming from AMC, BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV along with full access to targeted streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited. Its library of commercial free content includes fan favorites Mad Men, Halt & Catch Fire, Hell on Wheels, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Rectify, Portlandia, and series from The Walking Dead Universe, among many others.
•In 2022, AMC+ featured the epic conclusions of three iconic series: the Peabody Award-winning Killing Eve starring Golden Globe® and SAG® Award-winner Sandra Oh and Emmy® Award-winner Jodie Comer; Better Call Saul starring Emmy® Award nominees Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Giancarlo Esposito, and Jonathan Banks; and the highest-rated series in cable television history, The Walking Dead. AMC+ also featured a slate of original and exclusive series including the second season of Gangs of London, the Gotham Award-winning This Is Going to Hurt, the third and final season of A Discovery of Witches, and That Dirty Black Bag.
•In 2022 AMC+ also became the exclusive streaming home of the Company’s full slate of films from IFC Films, IFC Midnight and RLJE Films following theatrical and digital distribution, with new films released every Friday including Christmas With the Campbells, which was the top acquisition driver of any film on AMC+ in 2022.
•AMC+ is available to subscribers commercial free through our direct to consumer (“DTC”) app, as well as through MVPDs and virtual MVPDs, and digital streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel.
•AMC+ is currently available in several international markets including Canada, Spain, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
1 A paid subscription is defined as a subscription to a direct-to-consumer service or a subscription received through distributor arrangements, in which we receive a fee for the distribution of our streaming services, and includes an estimate of subscribers that converted to paying status in the subsequent period based on historical conversion percentages.
•Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international television with exclusive new programs and a deep library of mysteries, dramas and comedies.
•In 2022, the service premiered hit series Harry Wild, starring and executive produced by Jane Seymour, the most watched new series and most watched single season of any series on Acorn TV. Additional recent commissioned and original series include popular New Zealand detective series My Life Is Murder starring Lucy Lawless, acclaimed Irish crime thriller Bloodlands starring James Nesbitt, British crime drama Whitstable Pearl, Emmy® Award nominated Queens of Mystery, Kiwi romantic comedy Under the Vines, and British detective drama Dalgliesh.
•These are in addition to a growing catalog of bingeable and fan-favorite dramas including Agatha Raisin, A Place to Call Home, Jack Irish, Doc Martin, Deadwater Fel, and Midsomer Murders.
•Acorn TV’s international distribution is growing, with the service available in key markets including Canada, the U.K., and across Europe.
•Shudder serves subscribers with a premium selection in genre entertainment covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural and brings subscribers Hollywood favorites, cult classics and original series and critically acclaimed new genre films.
•2022 premieres on the service included the return of hit found footage anthology V/H/S with all-new installment V/H/S/99, the animated film Mad God from Oscar-winner Phil Tippett, the award-winning documentary This Is Gwar, Queer For Fear: The History of Queer Horror, and its biggest series launch of the year, The 101 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time. These join returning series Creepshow, The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula and The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs.
•Shudder is currently available in several international markets including Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
•Sundance Now offers cross-genre escapism for viewers seeking fresh perspectives, thought-provoking experiences and transportive journeys to far-off places. In 2022, the service housed critically-acclaimed and award-winning original and streaming exclusive series including supernatural thriller A Discovery of Witches, the U.K. adaptation of the French hit Call My Agent!, Ten Percent, the multi- Emmy® winner State of the Union, crime thriller The Suspect, and four-part drama Litvinenko, among many others.
•ALLBLK is focused on Black content from Black storytellers
•ALLBLK is an invitation to a world of streaming entertainment that is inclusively, but unapologetically – Black. Featuring a diverse lineup of content that spans across genres and generations, in 2022 ALLBLK premiered several new series including provocative drama series Hush, psychological thriller limited series Snap created by Grammy-nominated artist Eric Benét, supernatural drama Wicked City, dramedy Send Help from Insecure alums Jean Elie and Mike Gauyo, and dramedy À La Carte. The service’s lineup also includes original series Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy, A House Divided, Double Cross, Millennials, and Partners In Rhyme.
•HIDIVE LLC (“HIDIVE”) operates an anime-focused streaming service offering a robust library of television series, movies, and original video animations. In addition to its deep and diverse catalog, HIDIVE offers first-run simulcasts of the freshest anime at or near the time that content airs in Japan. HIDIVE is available in North America as well as key overseas markets including the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and most countries comprising Latin America. HIDIVE’s distribution reach continues to expand through new distribution partners and developing new services including its Anime X HIDIVE FAST channel. In 2022, HIDIVE became available on Amazon Prime Channels and Roku Channels.
•Sentai Holdings, LLC (“Sentai”) is a leading global acquirer, producer and supplier of anime content that it distributes through its affiliates including HIDIVE, Anime Network and Sentai Filmworks, as well as select commercial partners. With strong industry relationships and access to key content creators in Japan, Sentai curates one of the anime industry’s most diverse libraries of top trending and classic titles.
•AMC Studios is AMC Networks’ in-house production and distribution operation which launched in 2010 with The Walking Dead, the highest-rated show in cable history.
•Since then, AMC Studios has produced several critically acclaimed, award-winning and culturally distinctive originals for AMC Networks’ suite of channels and services including Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, Dark Winds, Fear the Walking Dead, Tales of The Walking Dead, Halt and Catch Fire, The Terror anthology and the Peabody Award-winning Rectify, as well as unscripted series Ride with Norman Reedus and James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction.
•IFC Films, our film distribution business, is a leading distributor of high-quality, talent-driven independent films.
•IFC Films operates two distribution labels: IFC Films and IFC Midnight. IFC Films also operates IFC Films Unlimited, a subscription based streaming service in the United States and Canada which launched in 2019.
•Notable 2022 releases include the Oscar shortlisted international film Corsage, which also won the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Performance at the Cannes International Film Festival; Oscar shortlisted documentary Bad Axe, a Critics’ Choice Award winner for Best First Documentary Feature; the Gotham Award-winning international feature Happening from director Audrey Diwan; documentary Hold Your Fire from award-winning filmmaker Stefan Forbes and producer Fab Five Freddy; Claire Denis’ Fire starring Juliette Binoche; horror film Watcher from director Chloe Okuno; and Sundance hit Resurrection starring Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth.
AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology
•AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology is a full-service network programming feed origination and distribution company located in Bethpage, New York, which primarily services most of the national programming networks of the Company.
•AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology consolidates origination and satellite communication functions in a 67,000 square-foot facility designed to keep AMC Networks at the forefront of network origination and distribution technology. AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology has 30 plus years of experience across its network services groups, including network origination, affiliate engineering, network transmission, and traffic and scheduling that provide day-to-day delivery of any programming network, in high definition or standard definition.
International and Other
Our International and Other segment includes the operations of AMC Networks International and 25/7 Media.
AMC Networks International
•AMCNI, the international division of the Company, delivers entertaining and acclaimed programming that reaches subscribers in more than 110 countries and territories around the world, through operational centers in London, Madrid, Budapest, Miami and Buenos Aires.
•AMCNI consists of our global brand, AMC, as well as a portfolio of popular, locally recognized brands delivering programming in a wide range of genres, including sports, film, cooking, crime and investigation, science, documentary and kids.
•Our local and regional channels are programmed for local audiences and language, and we develop and license local content that is tailored to individual market tastes.
•AMCNI also operates a number of joint venture partnerships and managed channel services as well as direct to consumer services. A joint venture with Paramount International Networks delivers a portfolio of entertainment channels which is managed from London. Dreamia, a joint venture with NOS in Portugal, delivers channels including Canal Hollywood, Canal Panda, Panda Kids, Biggs, Blast, Casa e Cozinha, and recently launched the over-the-top ("OTT") application Panda+.
•Highlights of the top AMCNI locally recognized channels are detailed below:
•El Gourmet is a “go-to” TV culinary destination for Latin American audiences that connects with its viewers by celebrating local traditions and featuring culinary experiences from all over the world. Its mission is to reunite family and friends around the table to make memorable life experiences.
•Launched over two decades ago, El Gourmet offers 100% of its content in Spanish, with over 90% original productions and more than 250 episodes premiering each year, showcasing some of the greatest celebrity cooks of this region.
•El Gourmet’s original productions have been awarded 14 Martin Fierro Awards (granted by the Association of Argentine Television and Radio Journalists) as well as two Taste Awards in the United States.
• Our U.K. business operates a joint venture with Paramount International Networks delivering a portfolio of entertainment channels in the U.K. including CBS Reality, Reality Xtra, Legend, and Horror Xtra.
•CBS Reality is increasingly airing owned locally produced ‘true crime’ content aimed at women in the 50+ demographic. These documentary style programs re-visit famous crimes predominantly from the U.K. and the United States and investigate the psychology of a killer.
•Jim Jam is a pre-school kids channel aimed at 2-6 year-olds, focusing on education and teaching English.
•Popular content includes Bob The Builder, Fireman Sam, Thomas and Friends and Chuggington.
•Jim Jam reaches subscribers in over 60 EMEA countries.
•Canal Hollywood is one of the leading pay-TV film channels in Spain and Portugal, offering a wide selection of movies produced by major U.S. studios.
•Genres include comedy, drama, thriller, western, musical, and science fiction and the industry’s biggest stars.
•The channel began broadcasting in 1993 and is distributed on all pay-TV platforms in Spain and Portugal, reaching more than 10 million households.
•Sports 1 & Sports 2 are premium sports channels in our core Central European territories.
•The channels broadcast European football, Formula 1, NBA and ice hockey among other live sports events.
•25/7 Media (dba Center Drive Media) owns and operates two leading production companies: Triage Entertainment, founded in 1995, and Lando Entertainment, founded in 2016.
•Together, they produce premium, prime-time programming, and focus on four major genres: multi-cam events, original formats and lifestyle, premium documentary series and scripted.
•Center Drive Media has produced award-winning and culturally distinctive originals across a wide range of networks and platforms, including CBS, NBC, Netflix, Paramount+, Discovery+, Food Network, HGTV, Lifetime, History, MTV, CMT, HBO and Showtime. Recent multi-camera events include specials from Sebastian Maniscalco, Taylor Tomlinson and Gabriel Iglesias. Original formats and lifestyle include Tournament of Champions, Food Network’s highest-rated series, and Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Grocery Games. Premium documentary series include the Emmy award-winning Remastered and four-part documentary series 11 Minutes. Scripted series include Black Jesus for Comedy Central.
Our businesses are subject to and affected by regulations of U.S. federal, state and local government authorities, and our international operations are subject to laws and regulations of the countries in which they operate, as well as international bodies, such as the European Union. The Federal Communications Commission (the "FCC") regulates U.S. programming networks directly in some limited respects; other FCC regulations, although imposed on cable television operators, satellite operators, or other MVPDs, affect programming networks indirectly. The rules, regulations, policies and procedures affecting our businesses are constantly subject to change and increasingly, legislative and regulatory proposals seek to cover all sources of content, including the digital platforms over which we offer content, which may affect our regulatory burdens in the future.
The descriptions below are summary in nature and do not purport to describe all present and proposed laws and regulations affecting our businesses.
Certain of our networks must provide closed-captioning of programming for the hearing impaired, and comply with other regulations designed to make our content more accessible, and we must provide closed captioning on certain video content that we offer on the Internet or through other Internet Protocol distribution methods. We must also ensure that our DTC applications can pass through closed captions on content and comply with certain other accessibility requirements. Congress and the FCC periodically consider proposals to enhance that accessibility, and are doing so now. Some of those proposals, if adopted, would increase our obligations substantially.
FCC rules require MVPDs to ensure that all commercials comply with specified volume standards, and our distribution agreements generally require us to certify compliance with such standards.
Emergency Alert Codes or Attention Signals
We may not include emergency alert codes or attention signals, or simulations of them, in our content under any circumstances other than a genuine alert, an authorized test of the emergency alert system, or a permissible public service announcement.
Cable operators and other MVPDs are prohibited from transmitting obscene programming, and our distribution agreements generally require us to refrain from including such programming on our networks.
The Communications Act and the FCC's program carriage rules prohibit distributors from favoring their affiliated programming networks over unaffiliated similarly situated programming networks in the rates, terms and conditions of carriage agreements between programming networks and cable operators or other MVPDs. Despite these rules, certain regulatory interpretations and court decisions make it more difficult for our programming networks to challenge a distributor’s decision to decline to carry one of our programming networks or discriminate against one of our programming networks.
Packaging Programming and Volume Discounts
The FCC from time to time examines whether to adopt rules restricting how programmers package and price their networks, or whether to impose other restrictions on carriage agreements between programmers and MVPDs. We do not currently require distributors to carry more than one of our national programming networks in order to obtain the right to carry a particular national programming network. However, we generally negotiate with a distributor for the carriage of all of our national networks concurrently, and we offer volume discounts to distributors who make our programming available to larger numbers of subscribers or who carry more of our programming networks.
Some states also have sought to regulate the manner in which MVPDs package and offer programming. We generally do not allow our networks or individual programs on those networks today to be offered by distributors on an a la carte basis.
Effect of "Must-Carry" and "Retransmission Consent" Requirements
The FCC's implementation of the statutory "must-carry" obligations requires cable and DBS operators to give certain broadcasters preferential access to channel space and preferential channel positions, and FCC "retransmission consent" rules allow broadcasters to require cable and DBS operators to carry broadcast-affiliated networks as a condition of access to the local broadcast station and to charge substantial fees for both carriage of the local broadcast station and the broadcast-affiliated networks. In contrast, programming networks, such as ours, have no guaranteed right of carriage on cable television or DBS systems nor any guaranteed channel position. These carriage laws may reduce the amount of channel space that is available for carriage of our networks by cable television systems and DBS operators, or the amount of programming funds that cable and DBS operators have available for carriage of our networks.
We maintain various websites that provide information regarding our businesses and offer content for sale. The operation of these websites may be subject to a range of federal, state and local laws such as privacy, data security, accessibility, child safety, oversight of user-generated content, and consumer protection regulations. For example, most states have enacted laws that impose data security and security breach obligations, and new frameworks regulating consumer privacy have recently been established at the state level and overseas, including the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR, and the California Consumer Privacy Act, or as amended, the CCPA. The GDPR and the CCPA impose, among other things,
more stringent operational requirements for processors and controllers of personal data, including expanded disclosures about how personal information is to be used, and increased liability for violations. In addition, the FCC from time to time considers whether some or all websites offering video programming should be considered MVPDs and regulated as such, which would increase our regulatory costs and obligations substantially.
The FCC also imposes rules that may impact us regarding a variety of issues such as advertising in children's television, and telemarketing. Programming businesses are subject to regulation by the country in which they operate, as well as international bodies, such as the European Union. These regulations may include restrictions on types of advertising that can be sold on our networks, programming content requirements, requirements to make programming available on non-discriminatory terms, and local content quotas.
Our programming services, consisting of linear networks and streaming services, operate in three highly competitive markets. First, our programming services compete with other programming services to obtain distribution on cable television systems and other multichannel video programming distribution systems, and ultimately for viewing by each distributor's subscribers. Second, our programming services compete with other programming services and other sources of video content, to secure desired entertainment programming. Third, our programming services compete with other sellers of advertising time and space, including other cable programming networks, radio, newspapers, outdoor media and, increasingly, internet sites. The success of our businesses depends on our ability to license and produce content for our programming services that is adequate in quantity and quality and will generate satisfactory viewer ratings. In each of these cases, some of our competitors are large publicly held companies that have greater financial resources than we do.
Distribution of Programming Services
The business of distributing programming services to cable television systems and other MVPDs and licensing of original programming for distribution is highly competitive. Our programming services face competition from other programming networks and services for carriage by a particular MVPD, and for the carriage on the service tier that will attract the most subscribers. Once our programming service is selected by a distributor for carriage, that service competes for viewers not only with the other programming services available on the distributor's system, but also with over-the-air broadcast television, Internet-based video and other online services, mobile services, radio, print media, motion picture theaters, DVDs, and other sources of information and entertainment.
Important to our success in each area of competition we face are the prices we charge for our programming services, the quantity, quality and variety of the programming offered on our services, and the effectiveness of our services' marketing efforts. The competition for viewers among advertiser supported networks is directly correlated with the competition for advertising revenues with each of our competitors.
Our ability to successfully compete with other networks and services may be hampered because the cable television systems or other MVPDs through which we seek distribution may be affiliated with other programming networks or services. In addition, because such distributors may have a substantial number of subscribers, the ability of such programming services to obtain distribution on the systems of affiliated distributors may lead to increased distribution and advertising revenue for such programming networks or services because of their increased penetration compared to our programming services. Even if such affiliated distributors carry our programming services, such distributors may place their affiliated programming network on a more desirable tier, thereby giving the affiliated programming network a competitive advantage over our own.
New or existing programming networks that are affiliated with broadcasting networks like ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC may also have a competitive advantage over our programming networks in obtaining distribution through the "bundling" of agreements to carry those programming networks with agreements giving the distributor the right to carry a broadcast station affiliated with the broadcasting network.
Part of our strategy involves exploiting identified segments of the cable television viewing audience that are generally well defined and limited in size. Our networks have faced and will continue to face increasing competition as other programming networks and online or other services seek to serve the same or similar niches.
We also seek to increase our content licensing revenues by expanding the opportunities for licensing our programming through other media platforms and we compete with other programming companies in this market based on the desirability of our programming.
Sources of Programming
We also compete with other programming networks and other distributors including digital distribution platforms to secure desired programming. Most of our original programming and all of our acquired programming is obtained through
agreements with other parties that have produced or own the rights to such programming. Competition for this programming will increase as the number of programming networks and other distributors increases. Other programming networks or streaming services that are affiliated with programming sources such as movie or television studios or film libraries may have a competitive advantage over us in this area.
With respect to the acquisition of entertainment programming, such as syndicated programs and movies that are not produced by or specifically for networks, our competitors include national broadcast television networks, local broadcast television stations, other cable programming networks, Internet-based video content distributors, and video-on-demand programs. Some of these competitors have exclusive contracts with motion picture studios or independent motion picture distributors or own film libraries.
Competition for Advertising Revenue
Our programming networks must compete with other sellers of advertising time and space, including other MVPDs, radio, newspapers, outdoor media and increasing shifts in spending toward online and mobile offerings from more traditional media. We compete for advertisers on the basis of rates we charge and also on the number and demographic nature of viewers who watch our programming. Advertisers will often seek to target their advertising content to those demographic categories they consider most likely to purchase the product or service they advertise. Accordingly, the demographic make-up of our viewership can be equally or more important than the number of viewers watching our programming.
HUMAN CAPITAL RESOURCES
At AMC Networks we are passionate about telling authentic stories that connect with audiences in meaningful ways and that entertain with vivid characters and worlds that show a full spectrum of the human experience. We believe the strength of our workforce is one of the significant contributors to our success. Our key human capital management objectives are to invest in and support our employees so that we have the ability to attract, develop and retain a high performing and diverse workforce.
The Company employed 1,948 employees as of December 31, 2022. Our global workforce, as of December 31, 2022, was more than 50% women, with 44% of our leadership positions (vice president or equivalent and above) held by women, including three members of the Company’s senior leadership team. The Company also appointed its first woman Chief Commercial Officer in 2022, who now serves as an executive officer of AMC Networks. More than 30% of our U.S.-based workforce are people of color.
We aim to attract top talent through our corporate brand and our reputation for innovation and high-quality content, as well as through the many benefits we offer. We aim to retain our talent by emphasizing our competitive rewards; offering opportunities that support employees both personally and professionally; and our commitment to fostering a positive, inclusive and collaborative corporate culture.
Our performance management practice includes frequent feedback and conversations between managers and team members, and talent reviews designed to identify potential future leaders and inform succession plans. We value continuous learning and development opportunities for our employees, which include: a robust internal group mentorship program; leadership development programs; and tuition assistance.
Our benefit offerings are designed to meet the range of needs of our diverse workforce and support the health, finance, and well-being of employees. They include: adoption assistance; backup child/elder care; child care resources; college planning; domestic partner coverage; domestic partner tax equalization; gender reassignment surgery; employee assistance programs; financial planning seminars; and a health advocate offering.
In addition, for certain of our productions, the Company, through in-house and third-party production service companies, engages the services of writers, directors, actors and various crew members who are subject to certain specially negotiated collective bargaining agreements. Since these agreements are generally entered into on a per-project basis, negotiations occur on various agreements throughout the year. We believe that our relations with the labor unions and our employees are generally good.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
At AMC Networks being diverse, equitable, and inclusive is more than a business imperative that spurs creativity and drives innovation. It is at the heart of who we are and what we believe.
Some examples of our DEI areas of focus are described below:
Fostering Inclusive Communities – We have nine active Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs) that form communities through shared interests and experiences with more than 20 chapters across the U.S, U.K., Europe and Latin America. Our BERG members strive to create a culture of belonging for our employees. They facilitate networking and
connections with peers; support the acquisition of diverse talent; provide an avenue to facilitate leadership and skill development; and help to increase the organization’s overall cultural competency. They are an important part of driving our business objectives, including curating themed content areas that helps drive streaming subscriber engagement and growth, acting as a valuable sounding board for content development and programming, leading heritage month celebrations and supporting employee engagement and retention.
Developing Talent Pipelines – We strive to create robust pipelines of diverse talent for our workplace to provide employment opportunities that are accessible to historically excluded and underrepresented communities. We do this primarily by partnering with leading industry diversity advocacy organizations and through our corporate internship program where we source candidates from a broad range of colleges including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through our partnership with the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program ("EICOP") HBCU in LA.
Learning Together – We equip our employees and our production staff with the tools and knowledge they need to expand awareness and understand what promoting diversity, equity and inclusion really means, we provide learning opportunities across a variety of topics ranging from exploring unearned advantage and disadvantage and cultivating an inclusive writer’s room and set to building a more equitable workforce through inclusive hiring practices.
Our Content – We have a long track record of championing and supporting independent and diverse voices and using our platforms and brands to bring these storytellers’ vision to life. Encouraging diverse and inclusive voices and points of view – on our screens, on our sets, and in our writer’s rooms – is fundamental to our creative process. It is how we understand, reflect, and speak with insight and authenticity to the wide range of audiences we reach every day. In 2022, we launched an Inclusive Writer’s Room Workshop, focused on cultivating an environment of inclusion and belonging in the writers’ room as well as equipping our writers with tools for inclusive storytelling, including identifying and mitigating unconscious bias and stereotypes in narratives. We also debuted acclaimed and proudly inclusive series and films across our brands and services including breakout series Dark Winds, the #2 new cable drama of the television season which has been renewed for a second season; the Gotham Award-winning This Is Going to Hurt; the #1 new ad-supported cable drama of 2022; Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire; and the timely New York Times’ Critic’s Pick and Gotham Award-winning Happening from IFC Films; among many others.
High Impact Partnerships – We work with leading industry organizations to promote greater inclusion in the stories we tell, the partners we work with, and the audiences who enjoy our content. The following are a few examples of our active partnerships and collaborations through which we strive to empower the next generation of storytellers:
•We introduced AVENUE, a dedicated division of the AMC Networks Content Room, committed to helping advertising and marketing partners authentically reach diverse and underrepresented audiences through association with AMC Networks’ programming, talent, relationships, reach and scale.
•Through AVENUE, AMC Networks entered into a partnership with Harlem Festival of Culture (HFC), the modern-day reimagining of the groundbreaking Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969 celebrating Black culture through cultural & economic development programming.
•We were thrilled to partner with ReelWorks in supporting the inaugural IATSE Entertainment Industry Hair Stylist Training, focused on increasing job access for makeup and hair professionals of color.
•We continued our partnerships with Coded for Inclusion’s Staff Me Up job matching platform for production crews designed to help change the way hiring happens in Hollywood, and Mentorship Matters to connect showrunners with emerging writers of color for dynamic year-long mentorships.
•We announced a new partnership with the Handy Foundation focused on staffing below the line and post-production roles with talent from historically underrepresented communities in television and film.
•We partnered with the Ad Council to create a PSA campaign highlighting the power of girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) utilizing talent of AMC’s popular franchise The Walking Dead. Produced by the AMCN Content Room, the PSAs are part of the Ad Council’s She Can STEM campaign which encourages girls, trans and non-binary youth around the country to get excited about STEM.
•We announced a partnership with several film festivals across the U.S. focused on identifying, developing, and amplifying talent from underrepresented and historically excluded communities.
Supplier Diversity – We are committed to supplier diversity and advancing the social and economic inclusion of businesses owned by historically excluded and underrepresented groups — including women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community. We seek to promote opportunities for diverse ideas and innovative solutions that strengthen our organization and the stories we tell, the suppliers we work with, and the communities where we live and operate. We strive to use best practices in supplier diversity to identify and work with businesses that are at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more of the following: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE),
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Enterprises (LGBTQ+), Veteran Owned Business (VBE), Service Disabled Veterans (SDV), and Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE).
Our Company has a proud past and a long history of innovation and originality in our storytelling. This legacy informs who we are and is imbued in our corporate culture and in our values. We embrace collaboration, openness, approachability, as well as agility and creativity.
Throughout the year we bring together partners, business leaders and our creative talent for engaging and thought-provoking conversations for our employees about our content, industry trends, and advancing DEI. In 2022, we introduced a new series called “Courageous Conversations,” a monthly opportunity for all employees to engage on key social and cultural issues impacting our community and society at large, presented and facilitated by experts on topics ranging from neurodiversity in the workplace to exploring authentic engagement with Native American communities.
Giving and social impact programs and initiatives are an important part of our culture because at AMC Networks we want to be a source for positive change in the communities where we live and work. Through philanthropic efforts, community outreach and strong and lasting partnerships, we support causes aimed at advancing a culture of inclusivity and amplifying everyone’s voice. In 2022, we matched donations from nearly 300 employees in support of more than 275 causes on our online giving and volunteering platform, Give Back at AMCN. Through the platform, employees can research and learn about organizations doing important and difference-making work and make personal charitable donations, which includes an annual company match.
Other initiatives to foster community and social impact include paid time off for full-time employees for Juneteenth, Election Day, Veterans Day and a volunteer day of their choice.
Our corporate website is http://www.amcnetworks.com and the investor relations section of our website is located at http://investor.amcnetworks.com. We make available, free of charge through the investor relations section of our website, our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as our proxy statements, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). References to our website in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this "Annual Report") are provided as a convenience and the information contained on, or available through, the website is not part of this or any other report we file with or furnish to the SEC.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
A wide range of risks may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, now and in the future. We consider the risks described below to be the most significant. There may be other currently unknown or unpredictable economic, business, competitive, regulatory or other factors that could have material adverse effects on our future results.
Risks Relating to Our Business
Our business depends on the appeal of our programming to our U.S. and international viewers and our distributors, which is often unpredictable and volatile.
Our business depends upon viewer preferences and audience acceptance in the United States and internationally of the programming on our networks. These factors are often unpredictable and volatile, and subject to influences that are beyond our control, such as the quality and appeal of competing programming, general economic conditions and the availability of other entertainment activities. We may not be able to anticipate and react effectively to shifts in viewer preferences and/or interests in our markets. A change in viewer preferences has caused, and could in the future continue to cause, the audience for certain of our programming to decline, which has resulted in, and could in the future continue to result in, a reduction of advertising revenues and jeopardize our bargaining position with distributors. In addition, certain of our competitors have more flexible programming arrangements, as well as greater amounts of available content, distribution and capital resources, and may react more quickly than we might to shifts in tastes and interests.
The success of our business depends on original programming, and our ability to accurately predict how audiences will respond to our original programming is particularly important. Because our network branding strategies depend significantly on a relatively small number of original programs, a failure to anticipate viewer preferences for such programs could be especially detrimental to our business. We periodically review the programming usefulness of our program rights based on a series of factors, including ratings, type and quality of program material, standards and practices, and fitness for exhibition. We have incurred write-offs of program rights in the past, including $403.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, and may incur future program rights write-offs if it is determined that program rights have limited, or no, future usefulness.
In addition, feature films constitute a significant portion of the programming on our AMC, IFC and SundanceTV programming networks. In general, the popularity of feature-film content on linear television has declined, and may continue to decline, due in part to the broad availability of such content through an increasing number of distribution platforms. If the popularity of feature-film programming further declines, we may lose viewership, which would decrease our revenues.
If our programming does not gain the level of audience acceptance we expect, or if we are unable to maintain the popularity of our programming, our ratings would suffer, which will negatively affect advertising revenues, and we may have a diminished bargaining position with distributors, which could reduce our distribution revenues. Ratings have declined in recent years, which has had a negative effect on our advertising revenues and our financial results. We cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain the success of any of our current programming or generate sufficient demand and market acceptance for our new programming.
The failure to develop popular new programming to replace programming that is older or ending can have adverse impacts on our business and results of operations.
Our programming services' success depends upon the availability of programming that is adequate in quantity and quality, and we may be unable to secure or maintain such programming.
The success of our programming services, consisting of linear networks and streaming services, depends upon the availability of quality programming, particularly original programming and films, that is suitable for our target markets. While we produce certain of our original programming through our studio operations, we obtain most of the programming on our services (including original programming, films and other acquired programming) through agreements with third parties that have produced or control the rights to such programming. These agreements expire at varying times and may be terminated by the other parties if we are not in compliance with their terms.
Competition for programming has increased as the number of programming networks and streaming services has increased. Other programming networks and streaming services that are affiliated with programming sources such as movie or television studios or film libraries may have a competitive advantage over us. In addition to other cable programming networks, we also compete for programming with national broadcast television networks, local broadcast television stations, video on demand services and subscription streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Google TV and Amazon Prime. Some of these competitors have exclusive contracts with motion picture studios or independent motion picture distributors or own film libraries.
We cannot assure you that we will ultimately be successful in producing or obtaining the quality programming our networks and streaming services need to be successful.
Increased programming costs may adversely affect our profits.
We produce original programming and other content and may continue to invest in this area, the costs of which are significant. We also acquire programming and television series, as well as a variety of digital content and other ancillary rights from other companies, and we pay license fees, royalties or contingent compensation in connection with these acquired rights. Our investments in original programming have been and may continue to be significant and involve complex negotiations with numerous third parties. These costs may not be recouped when the content is broadcast or distributed and higher costs may lead to decreased profitability or potential write-downs. Increased competition from additional entrants into the market for development and production of original programming, such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Google TV and Amazon Prime, increases our programming content costs.
We incur costs for the creative talent, including actors, writers and producers, who create our original programming. Some of our original programming has achieved significant popularity and critical acclaim, which has increased and could continue to increase the costs of such programming in the future. In addition, from time to time we have disputes with writers, producers and other creative talent over the amount of royalty and other payments (See Item 3. – Legal Proceedings for additional information). We believe that disputes of this type are endemic to our business and similar disputes may arise from time to time in the future. An increase in the costs of programming may lead to decreased profitability or otherwise adversely affect our business.
Although in some cases the financial commitment for original programming is partially offset by foreign, state or local tax incentives, there is a risk that the tax incentives will not remain available for the duration of a series. If tax incentives are no longer available, reduced substantially, or cannot be utilized, we may incur higher costs in order to complete the production or produce additional seasons. If we are unable to produce original programming content on a cost effective basis our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.
Our efforts to attract and retain streaming subscribers may not be successful, which may adversely affect our business
Our ability to continue to attract subscribers will depend in part on our ability to consistently provide compelling content choices, effectively market our streaming services, as well as provide a quality experience for subscribers. Furthermore, the
relative service levels, content offerings, pricing and related features of competitors to our service may adversely impact our ability to attract and retain subscribers. For example, we have in the past increased, and may in the future increase, prices for our streaming services, which could result in subscribers cancelling their subscriptions or potential subscribers not choosing to sign up for our services. We incur significant marketing expenditures to attract streaming subscribers, therefore retention of those subscribers is critical to our business model. We must continually add new subscriptions both to replace canceled subscriptions and to grow our streaming services beyond our current subscription base. While we permit multiple users within the same household to share a single account for noncommercial purposes, if account sharing is abused, our ability to add new subscribers may be hindered and our results of operations may be adversely impacted. If we do not grow as expected, given, in particular, that our content costs are largely fixed in nature and contracted over several years, we may not be able to adjust our expenditures or increase our (per subscription) revenues commensurate with the lowered growth rate, which could adversely impact our margins, liquidity and results of operations. If we are unable to successfully compete with current and new competitors in both retaining our existing subscriptions and attracting new subscriptions, our streaming services will be adversely affected. Further, if excessive numbers of subscribers cancel our services, we may be required to incur significantly higher marketing expenditures than we currently anticipate to replace these subscribers with new subscribers.
We are subject to intense competition, which may have a negative effect on our profitability or on our ability to expand our business.
The programming industry is highly competitive. Our programming networks and streaming services compete with other programming networks and other types of video programming services for marketing and distribution by cable and other multichannel video programming distribution systems and ultimately for viewing by their subscribers. We compete with other providers of programming networks for the right to be carried by a particular cable or other multichannel video programming distribution system and for the right to be carried by such system on a particular "tier" of service. The increasing offerings by virtual MVPDs through alternative distribution methods creates competition for carriage on those platforms. Our programming networks and streaming services compete with other programming networks, streaming services, and other sources of video content to secure desired entertainment programming.
Competition for content, audiences and advertising is intense and comes from broadcast television, other cable networks, distributors, including subscription streaming services and virtual multichannel video programming services, social media content distributors, and other entertainment outlets and platforms, as well as from search, social networks, program guides and "second screen" applications.
Increased competition from additional entrants into the market for development and production of original programming, such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Google TV and Amazon Prime, increases our content costs as creating competing high quality, original content requires significant investment. In addition, as competition with these entrants for the creation and acquisition of quality programming continues to escalate, the complexity of negotiations over acquired rights to the content and the value of the rights we acquire or retain may increase, leading to increased acquisition costs, and our ability to successfully acquire content of the highest quality may face greater uncertainty.
Our ability to compete successfully depends on a number of factors, including our ability to create or acquire high quality and popular programs, adapt to new technologies and distribution platforms, and achieve widespread distribution for our content. More content consumption options increase competition for viewers as well as for programming and creative talent, which can decrease our audience ratings, and therefore potentially our advertising revenues.
Certain programming networks affiliated with broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC or other key free-to-air programming networks in countries where our networks are distributed may have a competitive advantage over our programming networks in obtaining distribution through the "bundling" of carriage agreements for such programming networks with a distributor's right to carry the affiliated broadcasting network. In addition, our ability to compete with certain programming networks for distribution may be hampered because the cable television or other MVPDs through which we seek distribution may be affiliated with these programming networks. Because such distributors may have a substantial number of subscribers, the ability of such programming networks to obtain distribution on the systems of affiliated distributors may lead to increased distribution and advertising revenue for such programming networks because of their increased penetration compared to our programming networks. Even if the affiliated distributors carry our programming networks, they may place their affiliated programming network on a more desirable tier, thereby giving their affiliated programming network a competitive advantage over our own. Our competitors could also have preferential access to important technologies, customer data or other competitive information. There can be no assurance that we will be able to compete successfully in the future against existing or potential competitors, or that competition will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
In addition, our competitors include market participants with interests in multiple media businesses that are often vertically integrated, whereas our businesses generally rely on distribution relationships with third parties. As more cable and satellite operators, Internet service providers, subscription streaming services, other content distributors, aggregators and search
providers create or acquire their own content, some of them have significant competitive advantages, which could adversely affect our ability to negotiate favorable terms and distribution or otherwise compete effectively in the delivery marketplace. Certain of our competitors also have preferential access to important technologies, customer data or other competitive information.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to compete successfully in the future against existing or new competitors, or that competition will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Changes in the operating environment of multichannel distributors, including declines in the number of subscribers, could have a material negative effect on our business and results of operations.
Our business derives a substantial portion of its revenues and income from cable television providers and other MVPDs. Subscription streaming services and virtual MVPDs have changed when, where and how audiences consume video content. These changes pose risks to the traditional U.S. television industry, including (i) the disruption of the traditional television content distribution model by subscription streaming services and virtual multichannel video programming services, which are increasing in number and some of which have a significant and growing subscriber base, and (ii) the disruption of the advertising supported television model resulting from increased video consumption through subscription streaming services and virtual multichannel video programming services with no advertising or less advertising than on television networks, and time shifted viewing of television programming. In part as a result of these changes, over the past few years, the number of subscribers to traditional MVPDs in the United States has declined and the U.S. television industry has experienced declines in ratings for programming, which has negatively affected subscription and advertising revenues, including ours. Developments in technology and new content delivery products and services have also led to an increased amount of video content, as well as changes in consumers' expectations regarding the availability of video content, their willingness to pay for access to or ownership of such content, their perception of what quality entertainment is and their tolerance for commercial interruptions. We are engaged in efforts to respond to and mitigate the risks from these changes, but the success of some of these initiatives depends in part on the cooperation of measurement companies, advertisers and affiliates and, therefore, is not within our control. We have incurred significant costs to implement our strategy and initiatives, and if they are not successful, our competitive position, businesses and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Because a limited number of distributors account for a large portion of our business, failure to renew our programming networks' distribution agreements, renewal on less favorable terms, or the termination of those agreements, both in the United States and internationally, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our programming networks depend upon agreements with a limited number of cable television system operators and other MVPDs. The loss of any significant distributor could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated results of operations.
Currently our programming networks have distribution agreements with staggered expiration dates through 2028. Failure to renew distribution agreements, or renewal on less favorable terms (including with respect to price, packaging, positioning and other marketing opportunities), or the termination of distribution agreements could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. A reduced distribution of our programming networks would adversely affect our distribution revenues, and impact our ability to sell advertising or the rates we charge for such advertising. Even if distribution agreements are renewed, there is no assurance that the renewal rates will equal or exceed the rates that we currently charge these distributors.
In addition, we have, in some instances, made upfront payments to distributors in exchange for additional subscribers or have agreed to waive or accept lower subscription fees if certain numbers of additional subscribers are provided. In certain cases, we also help fund our distributors' efforts to market our programming networks or permit distributors to offer promotional periods without payment of subscriber fees. As we continue our efforts to add viewing subscribers, our net revenues may be negatively affected by these deferred carriage fee arrangements, discounted subscriber fees or other payments.
We may not be able to adapt to new content distribution platforms and to changes in consumer behavior resulting from these new technologies, which may adversely affect our business.
We must successfully adapt to technological advances in our industry, including alternative distribution platforms and viewing technologies. Our ability to exploit new distribution platforms and viewing technologies will affect our ability to maintain or grow our business. New forms of content distribution provide different economic models and compete with current distribution methods in ways that are not entirely predictable. Such competition has reduced and is likely to continue to reduce demand for our traditional television offerings and could reduce demand for the offerings of digital platforms and, in turn, reduce our revenue from these sources. Accordingly, we must adapt to changing consumer behavior driven by advances such as virtual MVPDs, video on demand, subscription streaming services, including services such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Google TV and Amazon Prime, and mobile devices. Gaming and other consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox and Roku are establishing themselves as alternative providers of video services. Such changes may impact the revenues we are able to generate from our traditional distribution methods, either by decreasing the viewership of our programming networks on cable and other
multichannel video programming distribution systems which are almost entirely directed at television video delivery or by making advertising on our programming networks less valuable to advertisers. If we fail to adapt our distribution methods and content to new technologies, our appeal to our targeted audiences might decline and there could be a negative effect on our business.
Consolidation among cable, satellite and telecommunications service providers has had, and could continue to have, an adverse effect on our revenue and profitability.
Consolidation among cable and satellite distributors and telecommunications service providers has given the largest operators considerable leverage and market power in their relationships with programmers. We currently have agreements in place with the major U.S. cable and satellite operators and telecommunications service providers and this consolidation has affected, and could continue to affect, our ability to maximize the value of our content through those distributors. In addition, many of the countries and territories in which we distribute our networks also have a small number of dominant distributors.
In connection with consolidation in the industry, in some cases, if a distributor is acquired, the agreement of the acquiring distributor will govern following the acquisition. In those circumstances, the acquisition of a distributor that is party to one or more distribution agreements with our programming networks on terms that are more favorable to us could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations. Continued consolidation within the industry could reduce the number of distributors that carry our programming and further increase the negotiating leverage of the cable and satellite television system operators, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
Advertising market conditions in specific markets have in the past caused and could in the future cause our revenues and operating results to decline significantly in any given period.
We derive substantial revenues from the sale of advertising on a variety of platforms, and a decline in advertising expenditures could have a significant adverse effect on our revenues and operating results in any given period. The strength of the advertising market can fluctuate in response to the economic prospects of specific advertisers or industries, advertisers' current spending priorities and the economy in general, and this may adversely affect the growth rate of our advertising revenues.
In addition, the pricing and volume of advertising has been affected by shifts in spending toward online and mobile offerings from more traditional media, or toward new ways of purchasing advertising, such as through automated purchasing, dynamic advertising insertion, third parties selling local advertising spots and advertising exchanges, some or all of which is not as advantageous to us as current advertising methods. The increased number of entertainment choices available to consumers has intensified audience fragmentation and reduced the viewing of content through traditional and virtual multichannel video programming providers, which has caused, and may continue to cause, audience ratings declines for our programming networks and has adversely affected the pricing and volume of advertising.
Advertising revenues can be significantly impacted by new technologies, since advertising sales are dependent on audience measurement provided by third parties, and the results of audience measurement techniques can vary independent of the size of the audience for a variety of reasons, including variations in the employed statistical sampling methods, difficulties related to the employed statistical sampling methods, new distribution platforms and viewing technologies, and the shifting of the marketplace to the use of measurement of different viewer behaviors, such as delayed viewing. While Nielsen's statistical sampling method is the primary measurement technique used in our television advertising sales, we measure and monetize our campaign reach and frequency on and across digital platforms based on other third-party data using a variety of methods including the number of impressions served and demographics. In addition, multi-platform campaign verification is in its infancy, and viewership on tablets and smartphones, which is growing rapidly, is presently not measured by any one consistently applied method. These variations and changes could have a significant effect on advertising revenues.
Theft of our content, including digital copyright theft and other unauthorized exhibitions of our content, may decrease revenue received from our programming and adversely affect our businesses and profitability.
The success of our businesses depends in part on our ability to maintain and monetize our intellectual property rights to our entertainment content. We are fundamentally a content company and theft of our brands, programming, digital content and other intellectual property has the potential to significantly affect us and the value of our content. Copyright theft is particularly prevalent in many parts of the world that lack effective copyright and technical protective measures similar to those existing in the United States or that lack effective enforcement of such measures, including some of the jurisdictions in which we operate. The interpretation of copyright, privacy and other laws as applied to our content, and piracy detection and enforcement efforts, remain in flux. The failure to strengthen, or the weakening of, existing intellectual property laws could make it more difficult for us to adequately protect our intellectual property and negatively affect its value and our results of operations.
Content theft has been made easier by the wide availability of higher bandwidth and reduced storage costs, as well as tools that undermine security features such as encryption and the ability of pirates to cloak their identities online. In addition, we and our numerous production and distribution partners operate various technology systems in connection with the production and
distribution of our programming, and intentional, or unintentional, acts could result in unauthorized access to our content, a disruption of our services, or improper disclosure of confidential information. The prevalence of digital formats and technologies heightens this risk. Unauthorized access to our content could result in the premature release of our programming, which may have a significant adverse effect on the value of the affected programming.
Copyright theft has an adverse effect on our business because it reduces the revenue that we are able to receive from the legitimate sale and distribution of our content, undermines lawful distribution channels and inhibits our ability to recoup or profit from the costs incurred to create such content. A change in the laws of one jurisdiction may also have an impact on our ability to protect our intellectual property rights across other jurisdictions. In addition, many parts of the world where piracy is prevalent lack effective copyright and other legal protections or enforcement measures. Efforts to prevent the unauthorized distribution, performance and copying of our content may affect our profitability and may not be successful in preventing harm to our business.
Litigation may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect trade secrets or to determine the validity and scope of proprietary rights claimed by others. Any litigation of this nature, regardless of outcome or merit, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management and technical resources, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our failure to protect our intellectual property rights, particularly our brand, in a meaningful manner or challenges to related contractual rights could result in erosion of our brand and limit our ability to control marketing of our networks, which could have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Economic and Operational Risks
We face risks from doing business internationally.
We have operations through which we distribute programming outside the United States. As a result, our business is subject to certain risks inherent in international business, many of which are beyond our control. These risks include:
•laws and policies affecting trade and taxes, including laws and policies relating to the repatriation of funds and withholding taxes, and changes in these laws;
•changes in local regulatory requirements, including restrictions on content, imposition of local content quotas and restrictions on foreign ownership;
•exchange controls, tariffs and other trade barriers;
•differing degrees of protection for intellectual property and varying attitudes towards the piracy of intellectual property;
•foreign privacy and data protection laws and regulations, as well as data localization requirements, and changes in these laws and requirements;
•the instability of foreign economies and governments;
•war and acts of terrorism; and
•anti-corruption laws and regulations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act that impose stringent requirements on how we conduct our foreign operations and changes in these laws and regulations.
Events or developments related to the risks described above as well as other risks associated with international trade could adversely affect our revenues from non-U.S. sources, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results, liquidity and prospects.
Economic problems in the United States or in other parts of the world could adversely affect our results of operations.
Our business is affected by prevailing economic and financial conditions in the United States and other countries. We derive substantial revenues from advertisers, and these expenditures are sensitive to general economic conditions and consumer buying patterns. Financial instability, a general decline in economic conditions, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions to financial markets, inflation, recession, high unemployment or geopolitical events (including the war between Russia and Ukraine), or fears about such events occurring, in the United States and other countries where our networks are distributed, have in the past adversely affected advertising rates and volume, which has resulted in a decrease in our advertising revenues.
Decreases in consumer discretionary spending in the U.S and other countries where our networks are distributed may affect cable television and other video service subscriptions, in particular with respect to digital service tiers on which certain of our programming networks are carried. This could lead to a decrease in the number of subscribers receiving our programming from MVPDs, which could, in turn, have a negative impact on our viewing subscribers and subscription fee revenues. Similarly, a decrease in viewing subscribers could have a negative impact on the number of viewers actually watching the programs on our programming networks, thereby impacting the rates we are able to charge advertisers.
Economic conditions affect a number of aspects of our businesses worldwide and impact the businesses of advertisers on our networks. Adverse economic conditions have resulted in and could in the future result in advertisers reducing their spending on advertising and negatively affect the ability of those with whom we do business to satisfy their obligations to us. The worsening of current global economic conditions has in the past adversely affected, and could in the future adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations, and worsening of economic conditions in certain specific parts of the world could impact the expansion and success of our businesses in such areas. Furthermore, some foreign markets in which we operate may be more adversely affected by worsening economic conditions than the United States or other countries.
Fluctuations in foreign exchange rates have had and could have in the future an adverse effect on our results of operations.
We have significant operations in a number of foreign jurisdictions and certain of our operations are conducted in foreign currencies. The value of these currencies fluctuates relative to the U.S. dollar. As a result, we are exposed to exchange rate fluctuations, which have had, and may in the future have, an adverse effect on our results of operations in a given period.
Specifically, we are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate risk to the extent that we enter into transactions denominated in currencies other than ours or our subsidiaries' respective functional currencies, such as trade receivables, programming contracts, notes payable and notes receivable (including intercompany amounts) that are denominated in a currency other than the applicable functional currency. Changes in exchange rates with respect to amounts recorded in our consolidated balance sheets related to these items will result in unrealized or realized (based upon period-end exchange rates) foreign currency transaction gains or losses upon settlement of the transactions. Moreover, to the extent that our revenue, costs and expenses are denominated in currencies other than our or our subsidiaries' respective functional currencies, we will experience fluctuations in our revenue, costs and expenses solely as a result of changes in foreign currency exchange rates.
We also are exposed to unfavorable and potentially volatile fluctuations of the U.S. dollar (our reporting currency) against the currencies of our non-U.S. dollar functional currency operating subsidiaries when their respective financial statements are translated into U.S. dollars for inclusion in our consolidated financial statements. Cumulative translation adjustments are recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) as a separate component of equity. Any increase (decrease) in the value of the U.S. dollar against any foreign currency that is the functional currency of one of our operating subsidiaries will cause us to experience unrealized foreign currency translation losses (gains) with respect to amounts already invested in such foreign currencies. Accordingly, we may experience a negative impact on our comprehensive income (loss) and equity with respect to our holdings solely as a result of foreign currency translation. Our primary exposure to foreign currency risk from a foreign currency translation perspective is to the euro, British pound and, to a lesser extent, other local currencies in Europe. We generally do not hedge against the risk that we may incur non-cash losses upon the translation of the financial statements of our non-U.S. dollar functional currency operating subsidiaries and affiliates into U.S. dollars.
Our business is limited by United States regulatory constraints which may adversely impact our operations.
Although most aspects of our business generally are not directly regulated by the FCC, there are certain FCC regulations that govern our business either directly or indirectly. See Item 1, "Business—Regulation" in this Annual Report. Furthermore, to the extent that regulations and laws, either presently in force or proposed, hinder or stimulate the growth of the cable television, satellite or other MVPD industries, our business could be affected.
The United States Congress and the FCC currently have under consideration, and may in the future adopt, new laws, regulations and policies regarding a wide variety of matters that could, directly or indirectly, affect our operations.
The regulation of cable television operators, satellite carriers, and other video programming distributors is subject to the political process and has been in constant flux over the past two decades. Further changes in the law and regulatory requirements, including material ones, may be proposed or adopted in the future. We cannot assure you that our business will not be adversely affected by future legislation, new regulation or deregulation of us or of our competitors.
Our businesses are subject to risks of adverse regulation by foreign governments.
Programming businesses are subject to the regulations of the countries in which they operate as well as international bodies, such as the European Union ("E.U."). These regulations may include restrictions on the types of advertisements that can be sold on our networks, programming content requirements, requirements to make programming available on non-discriminatory terms, local levies or taxes applied to our networks and local content quotas. Consequently, our businesses must adapt their ownership and organizational structures as well as their pricing and service offerings to satisfy the rules and regulations to which they are subject. A failure to comply with applicable rules and regulations could result in penalties, restrictions on our business or loss of required licenses or other adverse conditions.
Existing or proposed legislation and regulations could also significantly affect our business. For example, the E.U. adopted GDPR, which expands the regulation of personal data processing throughout the E.U. and significantly increases penalties for non-compliance. Complying with these laws and regulations could be costly, require us to change our business
practices, or limit or restrict aspects of our business in a manner adverse to our business operations. In particular, certain data privacy laws have required monitoring of, and changes to, our practices related to the collection, use, disclosure and storage of personal information. Many of these laws and regulations continue to evolve, and sometimes conflict among the countries in which we operate, and substantial uncertainty surrounds their scope and application. Our failure to comply with these law and regulations could result in exposure to enforcement actions by foreign governments, as well as significant negative publicity and reputational damage.
Adverse changes in foreign rules and regulations could have a significant adverse impact on our profitability.
We face continually evolving cybersecurity risks, which could result in the disclosure, theft or destruction of confidential information, disruption of our programming, damage to our brands and reputation, legal exposure and financial losses.
We maintain information, including confidential and proprietary information regarding our content, distributors, advertisers, viewers and employees, in digital form as necessary to conduct our business. We also rely on third-party vendors to provide certain services in connection with the storage, processing and transmission of digital information. Data maintained in digital form is subject to the risk of cybersecurity attacks, tampering and theft. We develop and maintain systems to monitor and prevent this from occurring, but the development and maintenance of these systems is costly and requires ongoing monitoring and updating as technologies change and efforts to overcome security measures become more sophisticated. Despite our efforts, the risks of a data breach cannot be entirely eliminated and our third-party vendors' information technology and other systems that maintain and transmit consumer, distributor, advertiser, company, employee and other confidential information may be compromised by a malicious penetration of our network security, or that of a third party provider due to employee error, computer malware or ransomware, viruses, hacking and phishing attacks, or otherwise. Hybrid work arrangements increase the risk of cyber incidents, including data breaches. Additionally, outside parties from time to time attempt to fraudulently induce employees or users to disclose sensitive or confidential information in order to gain access to data. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently and often are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. If our or our third-party providers' data systems are compromised, our ability to conduct our business may be impaired, we may lose profitable opportunities or the value of those opportunities may be diminished and, as described above, we may lose revenue as a result of unlicensed use of our intellectual property. Further, a penetration of our or our third-party providers' network security or other misappropriation or misuse of personal consumer or employee information could subject us to business, regulatory, litigation and reputation risk, which could have a negative effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We rely upon cloud computing services to operate certain aspects of our business and any disruption of or interference with our use of these services would impact our operations and our business would be adversely impacted.
Cloud computing services, such as Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), provide a distributed computing infrastructure platform for business operations. We have architected our software and computer systems so as to utilize data processing, storage capabilities and other services provided by AWS or other third parties. Such third parties’ facilities are vulnerable to damage or interruption from natural disasters, cybersecurity attacks, terrorist attacks, power outages and similar events or acts of misconduct. Currently, we run the vast majority of our computing on AWS. We have experienced, and we expect that in the future we will experience, interruptions, delays and outages in service and availability from AWS and other third-party service providers from time to time due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors, website hosting disruptions and capacity constraints. Given this, along with the fact that we cannot easily switch our AWS operations to another cloud provider, without significant costs, or at all, any disruption of or interference with our use of AWS would impact our operations and our business.
If our technology facilities fail or their operations are disrupted, or if we lose access to third party satellites, our performance could be hindered.
Our programming is transmitted using technology facilities at certain of our subsidiaries. These technology facilities are used for a variety of purposes, including signal processing, program editing, promotions, creation of programming segments to fill short gaps between featured programs, quality control, and live and recorded playback. These facilities are subject to interruption from fire, lightning, adverse weather conditions and other natural causes. Equipment failure, employee misconduct or outside interference could also disrupt the facilities' services. We maintain a full time disaster recovery site in Chandler, Arizona, which is capable of providing simultaneous playout of AMC, BBCA, SundanceTV, IFC and WEtv in the event of a disruption of operations at our main facility in Bethpage, NY. In the event of a catastrophic failure of the Bethpage facility, the disaster recovery site can be operational on the satellite within one to two hours.
In addition, we rely on third-party satellites in order to transmit our programming signals to our distributors. As with all satellites, there is a risk that the satellites we use will be damaged as a result of natural or man-made causes, or will otherwise fail to operate properly. Although we maintain in-orbit protection providing us with back-up satellite transmission facilities should our primary satellites fail, there can be no assurance that such back-up transmission facilities will be effective or will not
themselves fail. Further, there are a limited number of communications satellites available for the transmission of programming, and, in the event of a disruption, we may not be able to secure an alternate distribution source in a timely manner.
Any significant interruption at any of our technology facilities affecting the distribution of our programming, or any failure in satellite transmission of our programming signals, could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
The loss of any of our key personnel and artistic talent could adversely affect our business.
We believe that our success depends to a significant extent upon the performance of our senior executives and other key employees and on our ability to identify, attract, hire train and retain such personnel. We generally do not maintain "key man" insurance, and there is no assurance of the continued services of our senior executives or other key employees. In addition, we depend on the availability of third-party production companies to create some of our original programming. For certain of our productions, through in-house and third party production service companies, we engage the services of writers, directors, actors and various crew members who are subject to certain specially negotiated collective bargaining agreements. Any labor disputes or a strike by one or more unions representing any of these parties who are essential to our original programming could have a material adverse effect on our original programming, disrupt our operations and reduce our revenues. We may also be impacted by perceptions relating to reductions in force that we have conducted in the past in order to optimize our organizational structure and reduce costs and the departure of certain senior personnel for various reasons. The loss of any significant personnel or artistic talent, or our artistic talent losing their audience base, could also have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our operations and business have in the past been, and could in the future be, materially adversely impacted by a pandemic or other health emergency.
Pandemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and public health emergencies have affected and may, in the future, adversely affect our businesses. We experienced adverse advertising sales impacts and suspended content production as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to delays in the creation and availability of substantially all of our programming. If significant portions of our workforce, including key personnel, are unable to work effectively because of illness, government actions or other restrictions in connection with a pandemic or other public health emergency, the impact on our businesses could be exacerbated. In addition, remote work arrangements heighten the operational risks, including cybersecurity risks, to which we are subject.
We cannot reasonably predict the ultimate impact of any pandemic or public health emergency, including the extent of any adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition, which will depend on, among other things, the duration and spread of the pandemic or public health emergency, the impact of governmental regulations that have been, and may continue to be, imposed in response, the effectiveness of actions taken to contain or mitigate the outbreak, the availability, safety and efficacy of vaccines, including against emerging variants of the infectious disease, and global economic conditions.
In addition to the risks described above, to the extent that a pandemic or other public health emergency adversely affects our operations and financial condition, it may also heighten other risks described in this section.
We may not be successful in achieving sustaining or improving operating expense reductions, and might experience business disruptions associated with restructuring and cost reduction activities.
Our business has been, and may in the future be, the subject of restructuring and cost reduction initiatives. For example, we recently announced our plans to implement a restructuring plan designed to achieve significant cost reductions. We may not be successful in achieving the full cost reduction benefits we expect over the timeframe we expect, or at all, and the ongoing costs of implementing cost reduction and restructuring measures might be greater than anticipated. If these measures are not successful or sustainable, we may undertake additional restructuring and cost reduction efforts, which could result in future restructuring charges. Moreover, our ability to achieve our other strategic goals and business plans might be adversely affected, and we could experience business disruptions, if our restructuring efforts and cost reduction activities prove ineffective. These actions may also distract management from other business opportunities and adversely impact employee productivity and morale.
Our inability to successfully make investments in, and/or acquire and integrate, other businesses, assets, products or technologies could harm our business, financial condition or operating results.
Our success may depend on opportunities to buy other businesses or technologies that could complement, enhance or expand our current business or products or that might otherwise offer us growth opportunities. We have acquired, and have made strategic investments in, a number of companies (including through joint ventures) in the past, and we expect to make additional acquisitions and strategic investments in the future. Such transactions may result in dilutive issuances of our equity securities, use of our cash resources, and incurrence of debt and amortization expenses related to intangible assets. Any
acquisitions and strategic investments that we are able to identify and complete may be accompanied by a number of risks, including:
•the difficulty of assimilating the operations and personnel of acquired companies into our operations;
•the potential disruption of our ongoing business and distraction of management;
•the incurrence of additional operating losses and operating expenses of the businesses we acquired or in which we invested;
•the difficulty of integrating acquired technology and rights into our services and unanticipated expenses related to such integration;
•the failure to successfully further develop an acquired business or technology and any resulting impairment of amounts currently capitalized as intangible assets;
•the failure of strategic investments to perform as expected or to meet financial projections;
•the potential for patent and trademark infringement and data privacy and security claims against the acquired companies, or companies in which we have invested;
•litigation or other claims in connection with acquisitions, acquired companies, or companies in which we have invested;
•the impairment or loss of relationships with customers and partners of the companies we acquired or in which we invested or with our customers and partners as a result of the integration of acquired operations;
•the impairment of relationships with, or failure to retain, employees of acquired companies or our existing employees as a result of integration of new personnel;
•the difficulty of integrating operations, systems, and controls as a result of cultural, regulatory, systems, and operational differences;
•the performance of management of companies in which we invest but do not control;
•in the case of foreign acquisitions and investments, the impact of particular economic, tax, currency, political, legal and regulatory risks associated with specific countries; and
•the impact of known potential liabilities or liabilities that may be unknown, including as a result of inadequate internal controls, associated with the companies we acquired or in which we invested.
Our failure to be successful in addressing these risks or other problems encountered in connection with our past or future acquisitions and strategic investments could cause us to fail to realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions or investments, incur unanticipated liabilities, and harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may have exposure to additional tax liabilities.
We are subject to income taxes as well as non-income based taxes, such as payroll, sales, use, value-added, net worth, property and goods and services taxes, in both the United States and various foreign jurisdictions. Judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities. In the ordinary course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We are regularly under audit by tax authorities in both the United States and various foreign jurisdictions. Although we believe that our tax estimates are reasonable, (1) there is no assurance that the final determination of tax audits or tax disputes will not be different from what is reflected in our historical income tax provisions, expense amounts for non-income based taxes and accruals and (2) any material differences could have an adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations in the period or periods for which determination is made.
Although a portion of our revenue and operating income is generated outside the United States, we are subject to potential current U.S. income tax on this income due to our being a U.S. corporation, resulting in a potentially higher effective tax rate for the Company. This includes (i) what is referred to as "Subpart F Income," which generally includes, but is not limited to, such items as interest, dividends, royalties, gains from the disposition of certain property, certain currency exchange gains in excess of currency exchange losses, and certain related party sales and services income and (ii) what is referred to as “global intangible low-taxed income,” which generally equals certain foreign earnings in excess of 10 percent of the foreign subsidiaries’ tangible business assets. While we may mitigate any potential negative impacts of the aforementioned regimes through claiming a foreign tax credit against our U.S. federal income taxes or potentially have foreign or U.S. taxes reduced under applicable income tax treaties, we are subject to various limitations on claiming foreign tax credits or we may lack treaty protections in certain jurisdictions that will potentially limit any reduction of the increased effective tax rate. A higher effective tax rate may also result to the extent that losses are incurred in non-U.S. subsidiaries that do not reduce our U.S. taxable income.
We are subject to changing tax laws, treaties and regulations in and between countries in which we operate, including treaties between the United States and other nations. A change in these tax laws, treaties or regulations, including those in and involving the United States, or in the interpretation thereof, could result in a materially higher or lower income or non-income tax expense. Also, various income tax proposals in the countries in which we operate and measures in response to the economic uncertainty in certain European jurisdictions in which we operate, could result in changes to the existing tax laws under which our taxes are calculated. We are unable to predict whether any of these or other proposals in the United States or foreign jurisdictions will ultimately be enacted. Any such changes could negatively impact our business.
A significant amount of our book value consists of intangible assets that may not generate cash in the event of a voluntary or involuntary sale.
At December 31, 2022, our consolidated financial statements included approximately $5.6 billion of consolidated total assets, of which approximately $1.0 billion were classified as intangible assets. Intangible assets primarily include affiliation agreements and affiliate relationships, advertiser relationships, trademarks and goodwill. While we believe that the carrying values of our intangible assets are recoverable, there is no assurance that we would receive any cash from the voluntary or involuntary sale of these intangible assets, particularly if we were not continuing as an operating business.
Risks Relating to Our Debt
Our substantial long-term debt and high leverage could adversely affect our business.
We have a significant amount of long-term debt. As of December 31, 2022, we had $2.8 billion principal amount of total long-term debt (excluding finance leases), $641.3 million of which is senior secured debt under our Credit Facility and $2.2 billion of which is senior unsecured debt.
Our ability to make payments on, or repay or refinance, our debt, and to fund planned distributions and capital expenditures, will depend largely upon our future operating performance and our ability to borrow additional funds in the future. Our future performance, to a certain extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control. In addition, our ability to borrow funds in the future to make payments on our debt will depend on the satisfaction of the covenants in the Credit Facility and our other debt agreements, including the indentures governing our notes and other agreements we may enter into in the future.
Our substantial amount of debt could have important consequences. For example, it could:
•increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
•require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to make interest and principal payments on our debt, thereby limiting the availability of our cash flow to fund future programming investments, capital expenditures, working capital, business activities and other general corporate requirements;
•limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;
•place us at a competitive disadvantage compared with our competitors; and
•limit our ability to borrow additional funds, even when necessary to maintain adequate liquidity.
We will need to refinance our existing indebtedness as it matures, and we do not expect to generate sufficient cash from operations to repay at maturity our outstanding debt obligations. As a result, we will be dependent upon our ability to access the capital and credit markets. Market conditions, including further changes in interest rates, may increase the risk that the terms of any refinancing will not be as favorable as the terms of the existing debt (including agreeing to more restrictive covenants on our business or needing to provide collateral securing the debt), or that we may not be able to refinance the existing debt at all. Failure to raise significant amounts of funding to repay these obligations at maturity on terms favorable to us, or at all, could adversely affect our business. If we are unable to raise such amounts, we would need to take other actions including reducing investments in new programming, selling assets, seeking strategic investments from third parties or reducing other discretionary uses of cash, any of which could adversely impact our business and financial condition. The Credit Facility and indentures governing our notes restrict, and market or business conditions may limit, our ability to do some of these things.
Although a significant amount of our outstanding debt has fixed interest rates, borrowings under our Credit Facility bear interest at variable rates. For example, our interest expense increased from approximately $129.1 million in 2021 to approximately $133.8 million in 2022 despite a relative constant amount of outstanding principal amount of total debt. As a result, increases in market interest rates have increased our interest expense and our debt service obligations. If interest rates were to continue rising, this would further increase the amount of interest expense that we would have to pay for borrowings under the Credit Facility. While we have in the past entered into hedging agreements limiting our exposure to higher interest rates, we did not have any interest rate swap contracts outstanding at December 31, 2022. We may enter into hedging agreements in the future, however any such agreements do not offer complete protection from this risk.
The agreements governing our debt contain various covenants that impose restrictions on us that may affect our ability to operate our business.
The agreements governing the Credit Facility and the indentures governing our notes contain covenants that, among other things, limit our ability to:
•borrow money or guarantee debt;
•pay dividends on or redeem or repurchase stock;
•enter into transactions with affiliates;
•enter into strategic transactions; and
•sell assets or merge with other companies.
The Credit Facility requires us to comply with a Cash Flow Ratio and an Interest Coverage Ratio, each as defined in the Credit Facility. Compliance with these covenants may limit our ability to take actions, including repurchasing our common stock or making investments, that might be to our advantage or to the advantage of our stockholders.
Various risks, uncertainties and events beyond our control could affect our ability to comply with these covenants and maintain these financial ratios. Failure to comply with any of the covenants in our existing or future financing agreements could result in a default under those agreements and under other agreements containing cross-default provisions. A default would permit lenders to accelerate the maturity for the debt under these agreements and to foreclose upon any collateral securing the debt. Under these circumstances, we might not have sufficient funds or other resources to satisfy all of our obligations. In addition, the limitations imposed by financing agreements on our ability to incur additional debt and to take other actions might significantly impair our ability to obtain other financing.
Despite our current levels of debt, we may still be able to incur substantially more debt. This could further exacerbate the risks associated with our substantial debt.
We may be able to incur additional debt in the future. The terms of the Credit Facility and indentures governing our notes allow us to incur substantial amounts of additional debt, subject to certain limitations. In addition, as we have in the past, we may in the future refinance all or a portion of our debt, including borrowings under the Credit Facility, and obtain the ability to incur more debt as a result. If new debt is added to our current debt levels, the related risks we could face would be magnified.
A lowering or withdrawal of the ratings assigned to our debt securities by rating agencies may increase our future debt issuance costs and reduce our access to capital.
The debt ratings for our notes are below the "investment grade" category, which results in higher interest costs as well as a reduced pool of potential purchasers of our debt as some investors will not purchase debt securities that are not rated "investment grade". In addition, there can be no assurance that any rating assigned will remain for any given period of time or that a rating will not be lowered or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency, if in that rating agency's judgment, future circumstances, such as adverse changes to economic conditions that could impact an issuer's ability to meet its financial commitments, so warrant. A lowering or withdrawal of the ratings assigned to our debt securities may further increase our future debt issuance costs and reduce our access to capital.
Risks Relating to Our Controlled Ownership
We are controlled by the Dolan family and trusts for their benefit, which may create certain conflicts of interest. In addition, as a result of their control, the Dolan family has the ability to prevent or cause a change in control or approve, prevent or influence certain actions by the Company.
We have two classes of common stock:
•Class A Common Stock, which is entitled to one vote per share and is entitled collectively to elect 25% of our Board of Directors.
•Class B Common Stock, which is generally entitled to ten votes per share and is entitled collectively to elect the remaining 75% of our Board of Directors.
As of December 31, 2022, the Dolan family, including trusts for the benefit of members of the Dolan family (collectively "the Dolan Family Group"), own all of our Class B Common Stock, approximately 3% of our outstanding Class A Common Stock and approximately 79% of the total voting power of all our outstanding common stock. The members of the Dolan Family Group have executed a voting agreement (the "Stockholders Agreement") that has the effect of causing the voting power of the holders of our Class B Common Stock to be cast as provided therein with respect to all matters to be voted on by
holders of Class B Common Stock. Under the Stockholders Agreement, the shares of Class B Common Stock owned by members of the Dolan Family Group are to be voted on all matters in accordance with the determination of the Dolan Family Committee, except that the decisions of the Dolan Family Committee are non-binding with respect to the Class B Common Stock owned by certain Dolan family trusts (the "Excluded Trusts") that collectively own 48% of the outstanding Class B Common Stock. The Dolan Family Committee consists of Charles F. Dolan and his six children, James L. Dolan, Thomas C. Dolan, Patrick F. Dolan, Kathleen M. Dolan, Marianne E. Dolan and Deborah A. Dolan-Sweeney (collectively, the "Dolan Siblings"). The Dolan Family Committee generally acts by vote of a majority of the Dolan Siblings, except that a vote on a going-private transaction must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Dolan Siblings and a vote on a change-in-control transaction must be approved by not less than all but one of the Dolan Siblings. The Dolan Family Group is able to prevent a change in control of our Company and no person interested in acquiring us would be able to do so without obtaining the consent of the Dolan Family Group.
Shares of Class B Common Stock owned by Excluded Trusts are to be voted on all matters in accordance with the determination of the Excluded Trusts holding a majority of the Class B Common Stock held by all Excluded Trusts, except in the case of a vote on a going-private transaction or a change in control transaction, in which case a vote of trusts holding two-thirds of the Class B Common Stock owned by Excluded Trusts is required.
The Dolan Family Group by virtue of their stock ownership, have the power to elect all of our directors subject to election by holders of Class B Common Stock and are able collectively to control stockholder decisions on matters on which holders of all classes of our common stock vote together as a single class. These matters could include the amendment of some provisions of our certificate of incorporation and the approval of fundamental corporate transactions.
In addition, the affirmative vote or consent of the holders of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding shares of the Class B Common Stock, voting separately as a class, is required to approve:
•the authorization or issuance of any additional shares of Class B Common Stock, and
•any amendment, alteration or repeal of any of the provisions of our certificate of incorporation that adversely affects the powers, preferences or rights of the Class B Common Stock.
As a result, the Dolan Family Group has the power to prevent such issuance or amendment.
We have adopted a written policy whereby an independent committee of our Board of Directors will review and approve or take such other action as it may deem appropriate with respect to certain transactions involving the Company and its subsidiaries, on the one hand, and certain related parties, including Charles F. Dolan and certain of his family members and related entities on the other hand. This policy does not address all possible conflicts which may arise, and there can be no assurance that this policy will be effective in dealing with conflict scenarios.
We are a "controlled company" for the purposes of The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC ("NASDAQ"), which allows us not to comply with certain of the corporate governance rules of NASDAQ.
Members of the Dolan Family Group have entered into the Stockholders Agreement, which relates to, among other things, the voting and transfer of their shares of our Class B Common Stock. As a result, we are a "controlled company" under the corporate governance rules of NASDAQ. As a controlled company, we have the right to elect not to comply with the corporate governance rules of NASDAQ requiring: (i) a majority of independent directors on our Board of Directors, (ii) an independent compensation committee and (iii) an independent corporate governance and nominating committee. Our Board of Directors has elected for the Company to be treated as a "controlled company" under NASDAQ corporate governance rules and not to comply with the NASDAQ requirement for a majority independent board of directors and an independent corporate governance and nominating committee because of our status as a controlled company.
Future stock sales, including as a result of the exercise of registration rights by certain of our shareholders, could adversely affect the trading price of our Class A Common Stock.
Certain parties have registration rights covering a portion of our shares. We have entered into registration rights agreements with Charles F. Dolan, members of his family, certain Dolan family interests and the Dolan Family Foundation that provide them with "demand" and "piggyback" registration rights with respect to approximately 12.3 million shares of Class A Common Stock, including shares issuable upon conversion of shares of Class B Common Stock. Sales of a substantial number of shares of Class A Common Stock, including sales pursuant to these registration rights agreements, could adversely affect the market price of the Class A Common Stock and could impair our future ability to raise capital through an offering of our equity securities.
We share certain executives and directors with Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. ("MSGS") and Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. ("MSGE"), which may give rise to conflicts.
One of our executives, Gregg G. Seibert, serves as a Vice Chairman of the Company and as a Vice Chairman of MSGS and MSGE (each, an "Other Entity" and, collectively the "Other Entities"). Each of the Other Entities and the Company are affiliates by virtue of being under common control of the Dolan family. As a result, he will not be devoting his full time and attention to the Company's affairs. Seven members of our Board of Directors, including our Chairman, are directors of MSGS and seven members of our Board of Directors, including our Chairman, are directors of MSGE. These directors may have actual or apparent conflicts of interest with respect to matters involving or affecting each company. For example, the potential for a conflict of interest exists when we, on one hand, and an Other Entity, on the other hand, consider acquisitions and other corporate opportunities that may be suitable for us and for the Other Entity. Also, conflicts may arise if there are issues or disputes under the commercial arrangements that exist between the Other Entities and us. In addition, certain of our directors and officers own stock, restricted stock units and options to purchase stock in one or more of the Other Entities, as well as cash performance awards with any payout based on the performance of one or more of the Other Entities. These ownership interests could create actual, apparent or potential conflicts of interest when these individuals are faced with decisions that could have different implications for our Company and one or more of the Other Entities. See "Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Certain Relationships and Potential Conflicts of Interest" in our proxy statement filed with the SEC on April 29, 2022 for a description of our related party transaction approval policy that we have adopted to help address such potential conflicts that may arise.
Our overlapping directors and executives with the Other Entities may result in the diversion of corporate opportunities to and other conflicts with the Other Entities and provisions in our governance documents may provide us no remedy in that circumstance.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation acknowledges that directors and officers of the Company may also be serving as directors, officers, employees, consultants or agents of MSGS, MSGE, and its subsidiaries and that we may engage in material business transactions with such entities (the applicable provisions of the amended and restated certificate of incorporation, the "Overlap Provisions"). The Company has renounced its rights to certain business opportunities and the Overlap Provisions provide that no director or officer of the Company who is also serving as a director, officer, employee, consultant or agent of an Other Entity or any subsidiary of an Other Entity will be liable to the Company or its stockholders for breach of any fiduciary duty that would otherwise exist by reason of the fact that such individual directs a corporate opportunity (other than certain limited types of opportunities set forth in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation) to the Other Entity or any of its subsidiaries, or does not refer or communicate information regarding such corporate opportunities to the Company. The Overlap Provisions also expressly validate certain contracts, agreements, assignments and transactions (and amendments, modifications or terminations thereof) between the Company and the Other Entities and their subsidiaries and, to the fullest extent permitted by law, provide that the actions of the overlapping directors or officers in connection therewith are not breaches of fiduciary duties owed to the Company, any of its subsidiaries or their respective stockholders.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
We lease approximately 904,000 square feet of space in the United States, including approximately 326,000 square feet of office space that we lease at 11 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001, under lease arrangements with remaining terms through 2027. We use this space as our corporate headquarters and as the principal business location of our Company. We also lease approximately 67,000 square-feet of space for our broadcasting and technology center in Bethpage, New York under a lease arrangement with a term through 2029, from which AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology conducts its operations. In addition, we lease other properties in New York, California, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Maryland and Illinois.
We lease approximately 177,000 square feet of space outside of the U.S., including in Spain, Hungary and the U.K. that support our international operations.
We believe our properties are adequate for our use.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
On August 14, 2017, Robert Kirkman, Robert Kirkman, LLC, Glen Mazzara, 44 Strong Productions, Inc., David Alpert, Circle of Confusion Productions, LLC, New Circle of Confusion Productions, Inc., Gale Anne Hurd, and Valhalla Entertainment, Inc. f/k/a Valhalla Motion Pictures, Inc. (together, the "Plaintiffs") filed a complaint in California Superior Court in connection with Plaintiffs’ rendering of services as writers and producers of the television series entitled The Walking Dead, as well as Fear the Walking Dead and/or Talking Dead, and the agreements between the parties related thereto (the "Walking Dead Litigation"). The Plaintiffs asserted that the Company had been improperly underpaying the Plaintiffs under their contracts with the Company and they asserted claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing, inducing breach of contract, and liability for violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200. The Plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages and restitution. On August 8, 2019, the judge in the Walking Dead Litigation ordered a trial to resolve certain issues of contract interpretation only. Following eight days of trial in February and March 2020, on July 22, 2020, the judge issued a Statement of Decision finding in the Company's favor on all seven matters of contract interpretation before the court in this first phase trial. On January 20, 2021, the Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, eliminating eight named defendants and their claims under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200. On May 5, 2021, the Plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint, repleading in part their claims for alleged breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, inducing breach of contract, and certain breach of contract claims. On June 2, 2021, the Company filed a demurrer and motion to strike seeking to dismiss the claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and certain tort and breach of contract claims asserted in the third amended complaint. On July 27, 2021, the court granted in part and denied in part the Company's motion. On January 12, 2022, the Company filed a motion for summary adjudication of many of the remaining claims. On April 6, 2022, the court granted the Company’s summary adjudication motion in part, dismissing the Plaintiffs’ claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and inducing breach of contract. In December 2022, the parties entered into an agreement to resolve through confidential binding arbitration the remaining claims in the litigation (consisting mainly of ordinary course profit participation audit claims), which had been scheduled for a February 2023 jury trial. As a result, on January 9, 2023, the Plaintiffs filed with the court a notice of dismissal of the remaining claims, and on January 19, 2023, the court formally dismissed the case. On January, 26, 2023, the Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal of the court’s post-trial, demurrer, and summary adjudication decisions. The Company believes the two remaining claims in the case for breach of contract, which will now be resolved through confidential binding arbitration, are without merit and is continuing to defend against them. At this time, no determination can be made as to the ultimate outcome of this litigation or the potential liability, if any, on the part of the Company.
On November 14, 2022, the Plaintiffs filed a separate complaint in California Superior Court (the “MFN Litigation”) in connection with the Company’s July 16, 2021 settlement agreement with Frank Darabont (“Darabont”), Ferenc, Inc., Darkwoods Productions, Inc., and Creative Artists Agency, LLC (the “Darabont Parties”), which resolved litigations the Darabont Parties had brought in connection with Darabont's rendering services as a writer, director and producer of the television series entitled The Walking Dead and the agreement between the parties related thereto (the “Darabont Settlement”). Plaintiffs assert claims for breach of contract, alleging that the Company breached the most favored nations (“MFN”) provisions of Plaintiffs’ contracts with the Company by failing to pay them additional contingent compensation as a result of the Darabont Settlement (the “MFN Litigation”). Plaintiffs claim in the MFN Litigation that they are entitled to actual and compensatory damages in excess of $200 million. The Plaintiffs also bring a cause of action to enjoin an arbitration the Company commenced in May 2022 concerning the same dispute. On December 15, 2022, the Company removed the MFN Litigation to the United States District Court for the Central District of California. On January 13, 2023, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the MFN Litigation and informed the court that the Company had withdrawn the arbitration Plaintiffs sought to enjoin. The Company believes that the asserted claims are without merit and will vigorously defend against them if they are not dismissed. At this time, no determination can be made as to the ultimate outcome of this litigation or the potential liability, if any, on the part of the Company.
The Company is party to various lawsuits and claims in the ordinary course of business, including the matters described above. Although the outcome of these matters cannot be predicted with certainty and while the impact of these matters on the Company's results of operations in any particular subsequent reporting period could be material, management does not believe that the resolution of these matters will have a material adverse effect on the financial position of the Company or the ability of the Company to meet its financial obligations as they become due.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Our Class A Common Stock is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol "AMCX." Our Class B Common Stock is not listed on any exchange. Our Class A Common Stock began trading on NASDAQ on July 1, 2011.
The following graph compares the performance of the Company's Class A Common Stock with the performance of the S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index and a peer group (the "Peer Group Index") by measuring the changes in our Class A Common Stock prices from December 31, 2017 through December 31, 2022. Because no published index of comparable media companies currently reports values on a dividends-reinvested basis, the Company has created a Peer Group Index for purposes of this graph in accordance with the requirements of the SEC. The Peer Group Index is made up of companies that engage in cable television programming as a significant element of their business, although not all of the companies included in the Peer Group Index participate in all of the lines of business in which the Company is engaged, and some of the companies included in the Peer Group Index also engage in lines of business in which the Company does not participate. Additionally, the market capitalizations of many of the companies included in the Peer Group are quite different from that of the Company. The common stocks of the following companies have been included in the Peer Group Index: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., the Walt Disney Company, Fox Corporation (included from March 19, 2019, when trading began), Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, Nexstar Media Group, Inc., Roku, Inc., and Paramount Global. The chart assumes $100 was invested on December 31, 2017 in each of: i) Company's Class A Common Stock, ii) the S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index, and iii) in this Peer Group weighted by market capitalization.
|Company Name / Index||Base Period 12/31/17||12/31/18||12/31/19||12/31/20||12/31/21||12/31/22|
|AMC Networks Inc.||100||101.48||73.04||66.14||63.68||28.98|
|S&P MidCap 400 Index||100||88.92||112.21||127.54||159.12||138.34|
This performance graph shall not be deemed "filed" for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act") or incorporated by reference into any of our filings under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act, except as shall be expressly set forth by specific reference in such filing.
As of February 10, 2023, there were 548 holders of record of our Class A Common Stock and 34 holders of record of our Class B Common Stock.
Stock Repurchase Program
The Company's Board of Directors has authorized a program to repurchase up to $1.5 billion of the Company's outstanding shares of common stock (the "Stock Repurchase Program"). The authorization of up to $500 million was announced on March 7, 2016, an additional authorization of $500 million was announced on June 7, 2017, and an additional authorization of $500 million was announced on June 13, 2018. The Stock Repurchase Program has no pre-established closing date and may be suspended or discontinued at any time. The Company did not repurchase any shares of its Class A common stock during the year ended December 31, 2022. As of December 31, 2022, the Company had $135.3 million available for repurchase under the Stock Repurchase Program.
Item 6. [Reserved]
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
Management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations, or MD&A, is a supplement to and should be read in conjunction with the accompanying consolidated financial statements and related notes. Our MD&A is provided to enhance the understanding of our financial condition, changes in financial condition and results of our operations and is organized as follows:
Business Overview. This section provides a general description of our business and our operating segments, as well as other matters that we believe are important in understanding our results of operations and financial condition and in anticipating future trends.
Consolidated Results of Operations. This section provides an analysis of our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021. Our discussion is presented on both a consolidated and segment basis. Our two segments are: (i) Domestic Operations and (ii) International and Other. Analysis of our results of operations, on both a consolidated and segment basis, for the year ended December 31, 2020, including a comparison of 2021 to 2020, is included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Liquidity and Capital Resources. This section provides a discussion of our financial condition as of December 31, 2022 as well as an analysis of our cash flows for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021. The discussion of our financial condition and liquidity also includes a summary of our primary sources of liquidity. Analysis of our cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2020 is included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates. This section provides a discussion of our accounting policies considered to be important to an understanding of our financial condition and results of operations, and which require significant judgment and estimates on the part of management in their application.
The tables presented below set forth our consolidated revenues, net, operating income (loss) and adjusted operating income (loss) ("AOI")(1), for the periods indicated.
|Dollars in thousands||Year Ended December 31, ||Change|
|2022||2021||2022 vs. 2021|
|Domestic Operations||$||2,675,142 ||$||2,580,616 ||3.7 ||%|
|International and Other||442,525 ||511,317 ||(13.5)||%|
|Inter-segment Eliminations||(21,122)||(14,325)||47.4 ||%|
|$||3,096,545 ||$||3,077,608 ||0.6 ||%|
|Operating Income (Loss)|
|Domestic Operations||$||286,517 ||$||617,875 ||(53.6)||%|
|International and Other||3,031 ||37,167 ||(91.8)||%|
|Corporate / Inter-segment Eliminations||(202,632)||(165,120)||22.7 ||%|
|$||86,916 ||$||489,922 ||(82.3)||%|
|Adjusted Operating Income (Loss)|
|Domestic Operations||$||789,396 ||$||845,441 ||(6.6)||%|
|International and Other||68,989 ||83,294 ||(17.2)||%|
|Corporate / Inter-segment Eliminations||(119,983)||(112,665)||6.5 ||%|
|$||738,402 ||$||816,070 ||(9.5)||%|
(1) Adjusted Operating Income (Loss), is a non-GAAP financial measure. See the "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" section on page 46 for additional information, including our definition and our use of this non-GAAP financial measure, and for a reconciliation to its most comparable GAAP financial measure.
Restructuring and other related charges
On November 28, 2022, the Company commenced a restructuring plan (the “Plan”) designed to achieve significant cost reductions in light of “cord cutting” and the related impacts being felt across the media industry as well as the broader economic outlook. The Plan encompasses initiatives that include, among other things, strategic programming assessments and organizational restructuring costs. The programming assessments pertain to a broad mix of owned and licensed content, including legacy television series and films that will no longer be in active rotation on the Company’s linear or streaming platforms. As a result of the Plan, the Company recorded restructuring and other related charges of $449.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, consisting of content impairments of $403.8 million and severance and other personnel costs of $45.2 million. The Company expects to incur additional restructuring and other related charges in 2023.
We manage our business through the following two operating segments:
•Domestic Operations: Includes our programming services and AMC Broadcasting & Technology. Our programming services consist of our five national programming networks, our global streaming services, our AMC Studios operation and IFC Films. Our national programming networks are AMC, WE tv, BBC AMERICA, IFC, and SundanceTV. Our global streaming services consist of our targeted subscription streaming services (Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK, and HIDIVE), AMC+ and other streaming initiatives. Our AMC Studios operation produces original programming for our programming services and also licenses such programming worldwide, and IFC Films is our film distribution business. AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology, our technical services business, primarily services most of the national programming networks.
•International and Other: Includes AMC Networks International ("AMCNI"), our international programming businesses consisting of a portfolio of channels around the world, and 25/7 Media (formerly Levity), our production services business. See Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information relating to the 2021 spin-off of the Levity comedy venues business.
In our Domestic Operations segment, we earn revenue principally from: (i) the distribution of our programming through our programming networks and streaming services, (ii) the sale of advertising, and (iii) the licensing of our original programming to distributors, including the distribution of programming of IFC Films. Subscription revenue includes fees paid by distributors and consumers for our programming networks and streaming services. Subscription fees paid by distributors represent the largest component of distribution revenue. Our subscription fee revenues for our programming networks are based on a per subscriber fee, and, to a lesser extent, fixed fees under multi-year contracts, commonly referred to as "affiliation agreements," which generally provide for annual rate increases. The specific subscription fee revenues we earn vary from period to period, distributor to distributor and also vary among our programming services, but are generally based upon the number of each distributor's subscribers who receive our programming, referred to as viewing subscribers. Subscription fees for our streaming services are typically based on a per subscriber fee and are generally paid by distributors and consumers on a monthly basis. Content licensing revenue is earned from the licensing of original programming for digital, foreign and home video distribution and is recognized upon availability or distribution by the licensee.
Under affiliation agreements with our distributors, we have the right to sell a specified amount of national advertising time on our programming networks. Our advertising revenues are more variable than subscription fee revenues because the majority of our advertising is sold on a short-term basis, not under long-term contracts. Our arrangements with advertisers provide for a set number of advertising units to air over a specific period of time at a negotiated price per unit. Additionally, in these advertising sales arrangements, our programming networks generally guarantee specified viewer ratings for their programming. If these guaranteed viewer ratings are not met, we are generally required to provide additional advertising units to the advertiser at no charge. For these types of arrangements, a portion of the related revenue is deferred if the guaranteed ratings are not met and is subsequently recognized either when we provide the required additional advertising time or the guarantee obligation contractually expires. Most of our advertising revenues vary based upon the popularity of our programming as measured by Nielsen. Our national programming networks have advertisers representing companies in a broad range of sectors, including the automotive, restaurants/food, health, and telecommunications industries.
Changes in revenue are primarily derived from changes in the contractual subscription rates charged for our services; the number of subscribers; the prices and number of advertising spots on our networks; and the availability, amount and timing of licensing fees earned from the distribution of our original programming. Our revenues may increase over time through contractual rate increases stipulated in our affiliation agreements. In negotiating for additional subscribers or extended carriage, we have agreed, in some instances, to make upfront payments to a distributor which we record as deferred carriage fees and are amortized as a reduction to revenue over the period of the related affiliation agreement. We also may help fund the distributors' efforts to market our networks. We believe that these transactions generate a positive return on investment over the contract
period. We seek to increase our advertising revenues by increasing the rates we charge for such advertising, which is directly related to the overall distribution of our programming, penetration of our services on various digital platforms such as AVOD and FAST services, integration of our advanced advertising products, and the popularity (including within desirable demographic groups) of our services as measured by Nielsen.
Our principal goal is to increase our revenues by increasing distribution and penetration of our services, and increasing our ratings. To do this, we must continue to contract for and produce high-quality, attractive programming. As competition for programming increases and alternative distribution technologies continue to emerge and develop in the industry, costs for content acquisition and original programming may increase. There is a concentration of subscribers in the hands of a few distributors, which could create disparate bargaining power between the largest distributors and us by giving those distributors greater leverage in negotiating the price and other terms of affiliation agreements. We also seek to increase our content licensing revenues by expanding the opportunities for licensing our programming through digital distribution platforms, foreign distribution and home video services. Content licensing revenues in each quarter may vary based on the timing of availability of our programming to distributors.
Programming expenses, included in technical and operating expenses, represent the largest expenses of the Domestic Operations segment and primarily consists of amortization of program rights, such as those for original programming, feature films and licensed series, as well as participation and residual costs. The other components of technical and operating expenses primarily include distribution and production related costs and program operating costs including cost of delivery, such as origination, transmission, uplinking and encryption.
The success of our business depends on original programming, both scripted and unscripted, across all of our programming services. These original series generally result in higher ratings for our networks and higher viewership on our streaming services. Among other things, higher audience ratings drive increased revenues through higher advertising revenues. The timing of exhibition and distribution of original programming varies from period to period, which results in greater variability in our revenues, earnings and cash flows from operating activities. There may be significant changes in the level of our technical and operating expenses due to the level of our content investment spend and the related amortization of content acquisition and/or original programming costs. Program rights that are monetized as a group are amortized based on projected usage, typically resulting in an accelerated amortization pattern and, to a lesser extent, program rights that are monetized individually are amortized based on the individual-film-forecast-computation method.
Most original series require us to make up-front investments, which are often significant amounts. Our programming efforts are not always commercially successful, which could result in a write-off of program rights. If events or changes in circumstances indicate that the fair value of program rights predominantly monetized individually or a film group is less than its unamortized cost, the Company will write off the excess to technical and operating expenses in the consolidated statements of income. Program rights with no future programming usefulness are substantively abandoned resulting in the write-off of remaining unamortized cost. There was $403.8 million of program write-offs recorded to restructuring and other related charges in connection with the Company’s strategic programming assessments. Refer to Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information. Program rights write-offs of $11.1 million were recorded for the year ended December 31, 2021 in technical and operating expense.
See "Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" for a discussion of the amortization and write-off of program rights.
International and Other
Our International and Other segment primarily includes the operations of AMCNI and 25/7 Media (formerly Levity).
In our International and Other segment, we earn revenue principally from the international distribution of programming and, to a lesser extent, the sale of advertising from our AMCNI programming networks. We also earn revenue through production services from 25/7 Media. For the year ended December 31, 2022, distribution revenues represented 81% of the revenues of the International and Other segment. Distribution revenue primarily includes subscription fees paid by distributors to carry our programming networks and production services revenue generated from 25/7 Media. Our subscription revenues are generally based on either a per-subscriber fee or a fixed contractual annual fee, under multi-year affiliation agreements, which may provide for annual rate increases. Our production services revenues are based on master production agreements whereby a third-party engages us to produce content on its behalf. Production services revenues are recognized based on the percentage of cost incurred to total estimated cost of the contract. Distribution revenues are derived from the distribution of our programming networks primarily in Europe and to a lesser extent, Latin America.
Programming expenses, program operating costs and production costs incurred to produce content for third parties are included in technical and operating expenses, and represent the largest expense of the International and Other segment. Programming expenses primarily consist of amortization of acquired content, costs of dubbing and sub-titling of programs, production costs, and participation and residual costs. Program operating costs include costs such as origination, transmission, uplinking and encryption of our linear AMCNI channels as well as content hosting and delivery costs at our various on-line content distribution initiatives. Our programming efforts are not all commercially successful, which could result in a write-off
of program rights. If events or changes in circumstances indicate that the fair value of program rights predominantly monetized individually or a film group is less than its unamortized cost, the Company will write off the excess to technical and operating expenses in the consolidated statements of income. Program rights with no future programming usefulness are substantively abandoned resulting in the write-off of remaining unamortized cost.
Similar to our Domestic Operations businesses, the most significant business challenges we expect to encounter in our International and Other businesses include programming competition (from both foreign and domestic programmers), limited channel capacity on distributors' platforms, the number of subscribers on those platforms and economic pressures on subscription fees. Other significant business challenges unique to our international operations include increased programming costs for international rights and translation (i.e., dubbing and subtitling), a lack of availability of international rights for a portion of our domestic programming content, increased distribution costs for cable, satellite or fiber feeds, a limited physical presence in certain territories, and our exposure to foreign currency exchange rate risk. See also the risk factors described under Item 1A, "Risk Factors - We face risks from doing business internationally." in this Annual Report.
Corporate / Inter-segment Eliminations
Corporate operations primarily consist of executive management and administrative support services, such as executive salaries and benefits costs, costs of maintaining corporate headquarters, facilities and common support functions (such as human resources, legal, finance, strategic planning and information technology). The segment financial information set forth below, including the discussion related to individual line items, does not reflect inter-segment eliminations unless specifically indicated.
Impact of Economic Conditions
Our future performance is dependent, to a large extent, on general economic conditions including the impact of direct competition, our ability to manage our businesses effectively, and our relative strength and leverage in the marketplace, both with suppliers and customers.
Capital and credit market disruptions, as well as other events such as pandemics or other health emergencies, inflation, international conflict and recession, could cause economic downturns, which may lead to lower demand for our products, such as lower demand for television advertising and a decrease in the number of subscribers receiving our programming services. Events such as these may adversely impact our results of operations, cash flows and financial position.
Consolidated Results of Operations
The amounts presented and discussed below represent 100% of each operating segment's revenues, net and expenses. Where we have management control of an entity, we consolidate 100% of such entity in our consolidated statements of operations notwithstanding that a third-party owns an interest, which may be significant, in such entity. The noncontrolling owner's interest in the operating results of consolidated subsidiaries are reflected in net income attributable to noncontrolling interests in our consolidated statements of operations.
Years Ended December 31, 2022 and 2021
The following table sets forth our consolidated results of operations for the periods indicated.
| ||Years Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands)||2022||2021||2022 vs. 2021|
|Subscription||$||1,618,541 ||$||1,568,576 ||3.2 ||%|
|Content licensing and other||606,154 ||558,378 ||8.6 ||%|
|Distribution and other||2,224,695 ||2,126,954 ||4.6 ||%|
|Advertising||871,850 ||950,654 ||(8.3)||%|
| Total revenues, net||3,096,545 ||3,077,608 ||0.6 ||%|
Technical and operating (excluding depreciation and amortization)
|1,515,902 ||1,432,083 ||5.9 ||%|
|Selling, general and administrative||896,817 ||891,734 ||0.6 ||%|
|Depreciation and amortization||107,227 ||93,881 ||14.2 ||%|
|Impairment and other charges||40,717 ||159,610 ||(74.5)||%|
|Restructuring and other related charges||448,966 ||10,378 ||4226.1 ||%|
|Total operating expenses||3,009,629 ||2,587,686 ||16.3 ||%|
|Operating income||86,916 ||489,922 ||(82.3)||%|
|Other income (expense):|
|Interest expense, net||(120,436)||(118,830)||1.4 ||%|
|Loss on extinguishment of debt||— ||(22,074)||(100.0)||%|
|Miscellaneous, net||3,568 ||25,214 ||(85.8)||%|
|Total other income (expense)||(116,868)||(115,690)||1.0 ||%|
Net income (loss) from operations before income taxes
|Income tax benefit (expense)||40,980 ||(94,393)||(143.4)||%|
Net income including noncontrolling interests
|11,028 ||279,839 ||(96.1)||%|
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests
Net income attributable to AMC Networks' stockholders
|$||7,594 ||$||250,596 ||(97.0)||%|
Subscription revenues increased 5.8% in our Domestic Operations segment primarily due to an increase in streaming revenues, partially offset by a decline in affiliate revenue. Subscription revenues decreased 10.5% in our International and Other segment primarily due to the unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation at AMCNI.
Subscription revenues vary based on the impact of renewals of affiliation agreements and the number of subscribers to our services.
Content licensing and other revenues increased 18.0% in our Domestic Operations segment primarily due to the timing and availability of deliveries in the period, including $125.5 million for the delivery of an AMC Studios produced series to a third party in the fourth quarter of 2022. Content licensing and other revenues decreased 13.1% in our International and Other segment primarily due to the timing of productions at 25/7 Media.
Content licensing revenues vary based on the timing of availability of our programming to distributors.
Advertising revenues decreased 6.7% in our Domestic Operations segment primarily due to lower linear ratings, pricing softness, and fewer original programming episodes, partially offset by continued digital and advanced advertising revenue growth. Advertising revenues decreased 20.9% in our International and Other segment primarily due to the planned
wind-down of two channels and softer ratings in the U.K., and the unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation at AMCNI.
Most of our advertising revenues vary based on the timing of our original programming series and the popularity of our programming as measured by Nielsen.
Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization)
The components of technical and operating expenses primarily include the amortization of program rights, such as those for original programming, feature films and licensed series, participation and residual costs, distribution and production related costs and program delivery costs, such as transmission, encryption, hosting, and formatting.
Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization) increased 11.0% in our Domestic Operations segment primarily due to costs associated with the delivery of an AMC Studios produced series to a third party in the fourth quarter of 2022 and an increase in program rights amortization, partially offset by a decrease in other direct programming costs. Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization) decreased 15.2% in our International and Other segment primarily due to the favorable impact of foreign currency translation at AMCNI, the timing of productions at 25/7 Media, and cost savings associated with the planned wind-down of two channels in the U.K.
Technical and operating expense includes write-offs of $12.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. Programming write-offs are based on management's periodic assessment of programming usefulness.
There may be significant changes in the level of our technical and operating expenses due to original programming costs and/or content acquisition costs. As additional competition for programming increases, costs for content acquisition and original programming may increase.
Selling, general and administrative expenses
The components of selling, general and administrative expenses primarily include sales, marketing and advertising expenses, administrative costs and costs of non-production facilities.
Selling, general and administrative expenses (including share-based compensation expenses) increased 3.3% in our Domestic Operations segment primarily due to higher employee related costs, partially offset by lower share-based compensation expenses. Selling, general and administrative expenses (including share-based compensation expenses) decreased 6.4% in our International and other segment primarily related to the favorable impact of foreign currency translation at AMCNI and a decrease in administrative expenses at 25/7 Media, and decreased 4.9% in Corporate due to lower share-based compensation expenses.
There may be significant changes in the level of our selling, general and administrative expense due to the timing of promotions and marketing of original programming series.
Depreciation and amortization expenses
Depreciation and amortization expenses include depreciation of fixed assets and amortization of finite-lived intangible assets.
Depreciation and amortization increased in Corporate due to higher depreciation of equipment and in our Domestic Operations segment due to the amortization of finite-lived intangible assets acquired in connection with the acquisition of Sentai Holdings in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Impairment and other charges
In December 2022, in connection with the preparation of our fourth quarter financial information, the Company performed its annual goodwill impairment test and concluded that the estimated fair value of the AMCNI reporting unit declined to less than its carrying amount. The decrease in the estimated fair value was in response to current and expected trends across the International television broadcasting markets, as well as a decrease in the valuation multiples used to estimate the fair value using the market approach. As a result, the Company recognized an impairment charge of $40.7 million, reflecting a partial write-down of the goodwill associated with the AMCNI reporting unit.
On July 16, 2021, the Company entered into a settlement agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”) with Frank Darabont, Ferenc, Inc., Darkwoods Productions, Inc., and Creative Artists Agency, LLC (together, the "Plaintiffs") in actions brought in connection with Frank Darabont’s rendering services as a writer, director and producer of the television series entitled The Walking Dead. The consolidated cases were initially brought in 2013 and 2018 and the trial of the consolidated cases was scheduled to commence on April 4, 2022. The Settlement Agreement provided for a cash payment of $200 million (the “Settlement Payment”) to the Plaintiffs and future revenue sharing related to certain future streaming exhibition of The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. With regard to the Settlement Payment, the Company recorded a charge of
$143.0 million, included in Impairment and other charges, in consideration for the extinguishment of Plaintiffs’ rights to any compensation in connection with The Walking Dead and any related programs and the dismissal of the actions with prejudice, which amount is net of $57.0 million of ordinary course accrued participations.
In March 2021, the Company completed a spin-off of the live comedy venue and talent management businesses ("LiveCo") of Levity Entertainment Group, LLC. In connection with the transaction, the Company effectively exchanged all of its rights and interests in LiveCo for the release of its obligations, principally related to leases. As a result of this divestiture, the Company recognized a loss on the disposal of $16.6 million reflecting the net assets transferred (consisting of property and equipment, lease right-of-use assets and intangibles, partially offset by lease and other obligations), which is included in Impairment and other charges. The Company retained its interest in the production services business of Levity Entertainment Group, LLC, which was renamed 25/7 Media Holdings LLC following the spin-off.
Restructuring and other related charges
For 2022, restructuring and other related charges consisted of $403.8 million of strategic programming assessments and $45.2 million of organizational restructuring costs. Of the $449.0 million total charge, $423.2 million related to Domestic Operations, $2.9 million related to AMCNI, and $22.9 million related to Corporate.
For 2021, restructuring and other related charges consisted of (i) $6.1 million at AMCNI related to severance costs and the termination of distribution in certain international territories and (ii) $4.3 million of severance costs associated with the restructuring plan announced in November 2020.
The decrease in operating income was primarily attributable to increases in restructuring and other related charges of $438.6 million and technical and operating expenses of $83.8 million, partially offset by a decrease in impairment and other charges of $118.9 million.
Interest expense, net
The increase in interest expense, net was primarily due to higher interest rates on our Term Loan A Facility, partially offset by higher interest income and lower average daily balances and the refinancing of a portion of our outstanding senior notes at a lower interest rate in 2021.
Loss on extinguishment of debt
There was no loss on the extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2022.
In February 2021, we redeemed (i) the remaining $400 million principal amount of our 4.75% senior notes due December 2022 and (ii) $600 million principal amount of our 5.00% senior notes due April 2024. In connection with the redemptions, we incurred a loss on extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2021 of $22.1 million representing a redemption premium on the 5.00% senior notes due 2024, and the write-off of a portion of the unamortized discount and deferred financing costs related to both issuances.
The decrease in miscellaneous, net of $21.6 million was primarily related to a $13.4 million unfavorable variance in the foreign currency remeasurement of monetary assets and liabilities (principally intercompany loans) that are denominated in currencies other than the underlying functional currency of the applicable entity and the impact of a $12.3 million gain recorded in the prior year in connection with the Company's acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in an equity method investment, partially offset by a $7.5 million impact of higher net gains from the sale of certain marketable equity securities.
Income tax benefit (expense)
Income tax benefit was $41.0 million for 2022, representing an effective tax rate of 137%. The effective tax rate differs from the federal statutory rate of 21% due primarily to state and local income tax benefit of $6.0 million and tax benefit of $70.4 million related to the deemed liquidation of a wholly-owned controlled foreign corporation, partially offset by tax expense of $32.6 million resulting from a net increase in valuation allowances for foreign deferred tax assets, state net operating losses and excess capital losses and tax expense of $10.4 million related to non-deductible compensation expense.
Income tax expense was $94.4 million for 2021, representing an effective tax rate of 25%. The effective tax rate differs from the federal statutory rate of 21% due primarily to state and local income tax expense of $11.7 million, tax expense of $9.6 million resulting from a net increase in valuation allowances for foreign deferred tax assets, tax expense of $8.3 million related
to non-deductible compensation expense, partially offset by $5.5 million of tax benefit related to nontaxable income attributable to noncontrolling interests and tax benefit of $4.7 million for excess tax benefits related to share-based compensation.
Segment Results of Operations
Our segment operating results are presented based on how we assess operating performance and internally report financial information. We use Segment adjusted operating income as the measure of profit or loss for our operating segments. See Non-GAAP Financial Measures section below for our definition of Adjusted Operating Income and a reconciliation from Operating Income to Adjusted Operating Income on a segment and consolidated basis.
The following table sets forth our Domestic Operations segment results for the periods indicated.
| ||Years Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands)||2022||2021||2022 vs. 2021|
|Subscription||$||1,395,026 ||$||1,318,732 ||5.8 ||%|
|Content licensing and other||491,870 ||416,898 ||18.0 ||%|
|Distribution and other||1,886,896 ||1,735,630 ||8.7 ||%|
|Advertising||788,246 ||844,986 ||(6.7)||%|
|Total revenues, net||2,675,142 ||2,580,616 ||3.7 ||%|
Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization)(a)
|1,276,791 ||1,150,564 ||11.0 ||%|
Selling, general and administrative expenses(b)
|626,203 ||596,559 ||5.0 ||%|
|Majority-owned equity investees AOI||17,248 ||11,948 ||44.4 ||%|
| Segment adjusted operating income||$||789,396 ||$||845,441 ||(6.6)||%|
| (a) Technical and operating expenses excludes cloud computing amortization|
| (b) Selling, general and administrative expenses excludes share-based compensation expenses|
Subscription revenues increased primarily due to a 35.4% increase in streaming revenues driven by streaming subscriber growth, partially offset by a 5.8% decline in affiliate revenue. Affiliate revenue decreased due to basic subscriber declines, partially offset by contractual affiliate rate increases.
Subscription revenues include revenues related to the Company's streaming services of $501.9 million and $370.8 million for 2022 and 2021, respectively. Aggregate paid subscribers to our streaming services were approximately 11.8 million and 9.0 million at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Content licensing and other revenues increased primarily due to the timing and availability of deliveries in the period, including $125.5 million for the delivery of an AMC Studios produced series to a third party in the fourth quarter of 2022 partially offset by the delivery of fewer episodes of The Walking Dead World Beyond and Fear the Walking Dead, both of which were strong contributors in the prior year.
Advertising revenues decreased primarily due to lower linear ratings, softness in the advertising market, and fewer original programming episodes, partially offset by continued digital and advanced advertising revenue growth.
The following table presents certain subscriber information for our national programming networks at December 31, 2022 and 2021:
| ||Estimated U.S. Subscribers as measured by Nielsen|
|(In thousands)||December 31,|
|National Programming Networks:|
|AMC||69,900 ||78,300 |
|WE tv||68,200 ||75,500 |
|BBC AMERICA||64,600 ||73,000 |
|IFC||60,000 ||68,000 |
|SundanceTV||58,400 ||65,900 |
Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization)
Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization) increased primarily due to costs associated with the delivery of an AMC Studios produced series to a third party in the fourth quarter of 2022 and an increase in program rights amortization, partially offset by a decrease in other direct programming costs.
There were no material write-offs included in program rights amortization expense in 2022. Program rights amortization expense includes write-offs $11.1 million for 2021. Programming write-offs are based on management's periodic assessment of programming usefulness.
Selling, general and administrative expenses
Selling, general and administrative expenses (excluding share-based compensation expenses) increased primarily due to higher employee related costs.
Segment adjusted operating income
The decrease in segment adjusted operating income was primarily attributable to increases in technical and operating expenses of $126.2 million and selling, general and administrative expenses of $29.6 million, partially offset by an increase in revenues of $94.5 million.
International and Other
The following table sets forth our International and Other segment results for the periods indicated.
|Years Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands)||2022||2021||2022 vs. 2021|
|Subscription||$||223,515 ||$||249,844 ||(10.5)||%|
|Content licensing and other||135,406 ||155,805 ||(13.1)||%|
|Distribution and other||358,921 ||405,649 ||(11.5)||%|
|Advertising||83,604 ||105,668 ||(20.9)||%|
|Total revenues, net||442,525 ||511,317 ||(13.5)||%|
|Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization)||257,097 ||303,045 ||(15.2)||%|
Selling, general and administrative expenses(a)
|116,439 ||124,978 ||(6.8)||%|
|Segment adjusted operating income||$||68,989 ||$||83,294 ||(17.2)||%|
| (a) Selling, general and administrative expenses excludes share-based compensation expenses|
Subscription revenues decreased primarily due to the unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation at AMCNI.
Content licensing and other revenues decreased primarily due to the timing of productions at 25/7 Media.
Advertising revenues decreased primarily due to the planned wind-down of two channels and softer ratings in the U.K., and the unfavorable impact of foreign currency translation at AMCNI.
Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization)
Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization) decreased due to the favorable impact of foreign currency translation at AMCNI, the timing of productions at 25/7 Media, and cost savings associated with the planned wind-down of two channels in the U.K.
There were no material write-offs included in program rights amortization expense in 2022. Program rights amortization expense includes write-offs $1.7 million for 2021. Programming write-offs are based on management's periodic assessment of programming usefulness.
Selling, general and administrative expenses
Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased primarily due to the favorable impact of foreign currency translation at AMCNI and a decrease in administrative expenses at 25/7 Media related to the March 2021 spin off of the comedy venues.
Segment adjusted operating income
The decrease in segment adjusted operating income was primarily attributable to a decrease in revenues of $68.8 million, partially offset by decreases in technical and operating expenses of $45.9 million and selling, general and administrative expenses of $8.5 million.
Corporate / Inter-segment Eliminations
The following table sets forth our Corporate / Inter-segment Eliminations results for the periods indicated.
|Years Ended December 31,||Change|
|(In thousands)||2022||2021||2022 vs. 2021|
|Revenues, net||$||(21,122)||$||(14,325)||47.4 ||%|
Technical and operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization)(a)
Selling, general and administrative expenses(b)
|117,236 ||119,866 ||(2.2)||%|
|Segment adjusted operating income||$||(119,983)||$||(112,665)||6.5 ||%|
|(a) Technical and operating expenses excludes cloud computing amortization|
|(b) Selling, general and administrative expenses excludes share-based compensation expenses and cloud computing amortization|
Revenue eliminations are primarily related to inter-segment licensing revenues recognized between the Domestic Operations and International and Other segments.
Technical and Operating (excluding depreciation and amortization)
Technical and operating eliminations are primarily related to inter-segment programming amortization recognized between the Domestic Operations and International and Other segments.
Selling, general and administrative expenses
Corporate overhead costs not allocated to the segments include such costs as executive salaries and benefits, costs of maintaining corporate headquarters, facilities and common support functions (such as human resources, legal, finance, strategic planning and information technology).
Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased primarily due to lower long-term incentive compensation, partially offset by an increase in expenses associated with technology investments.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We evaluate segment performance based on several factors, of which the primary financial measure is operating segment AOI. We define AOI, which is a financial measure that is not calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), as operating income (loss) before share-based compensation expenses or benefit, depreciation and amortization, impairment and other charges (including gains or losses on sales or dispositions of businesses), restructuring and other related charges, cloud computing amortization and including the Company’s proportionate share of adjusted operating income (loss) from majority-owned equity method investees. From time to time, we may exclude the impact of certain events, gains, losses or other charges (such as significant legal settlements) from AOI that affect our operating performance.
We believe that AOI is an appropriate measure for evaluating the operating performance on both an operating segment and consolidated basis. AOI and similar measures with similar titles are common performance measures used by investors, analysts and peers to compare performance in the industry.
Internally, we use revenues, net and AOI measures as the most important indicators of our business performance, and evaluate management's effectiveness with specific reference to these indicators. AOI should be viewed as a supplement to and not a substitute for operating income (loss), net income (loss), cash flows from operating activities and other measures of performance and/or liquidity presented in accordance with GAAP. Since AOI is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with GAAP, this measure may not be comparable to similar measures with similar titles used by other companies.
The following is a reconciliation of operating income (loss) to AOI for the periods indicated:
|Year Ended December 31, 2022|
|(In thousands)||Domestic Operations||International and Other||Corporate / Inter-segment Eliminations||Consolidated|
|Operating income (loss)||$||286,517 ||$||3,031 ||$||(202,632)||$||86,916 |
|Share-based compensation expenses||12,815 ||3,900 ||13,271 ||29,986 |
|Depreciation and amortization||49,588 ||18,487 ||39,152 ||107,227 |
|Impairment and other charges||— ||40,717 ||— ||40,717 |
|Restructuring and other related charges||423,205 ||2,854 ||22,907 ||448,966 |
|Cloud computing amortization||23 ||— ||7,319 ||7,342 |
|Majority owned equity investees AOI||17,248 ||— ||— ||17,248 |
|Adjusted operating income (loss)||$||789,396 ||$||68,989 ||$||(119,983)||$||738,402 |
|Year Ended December 31, 2021|
|(In thousands)||Domestic Operations||International and Other||Corporate / Inter-segment Eliminations||Consolidated|
|Operating income (loss)||$||617,875 ||$||37,167 ||$||(165,120)||$||489,922 |
|Share-based compensation expenses||22,077 ||3,627 ||22,221 ||47,925 |
|Depreciation and amortization||48,025 ||19,807 ||26,049 ||93,881 |
|Impairment and other charges||143,000 ||16,610 ||— ||159,610 |
|Restructuring and other related charges||2,516 ||6,083 ||1,779 ||10,378 |
|Cloud computing amortization||— ||— ||2,406 ||2,406 |
|Majority owned equity investees AOI||11,948 ||— ||— ||11,948 |
|Adjusted operating income (loss)||$||845,441 ||$||83,294 ||$||(112,665)||$||816,070 |
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Our operations have historically generated positive net cash flow from operating activities. However, each of our programming businesses has substantial programming acquisition and production expenditure requirements.
Our primary source of cash typically includes cash flow from operations. Sources of cash also include amounts available under our revolving credit facility and, subject to market conditions, access to capital and credit markets. Although we currently believe that amounts available under our revolving credit facility will be available when and if needed, we can provide no assurance that access to such funds will not be impacted by adverse conditions in the financial markets. The obligations of the financial institutions under our revolving credit facility are several and not joint and, as a result, a funding default by one or more institutions does not need to be made up by the others. As a public company, we may have access to capital and credit markets, although adverse conditions in the financial markets have in the past impacted, and are expected in the future to impact, access to those markets.
Our Board of Directors previously authorized a program to repurchase up to $1.5 billion of our outstanding shares of common stock (the "Stock Repurchase Program"). The Stock Repurchase Program has no pre-established closing date and may be suspended or discontinued at any time. The Company did not repurchase any shares of its Class A common stock during the year ended December 31, 2022. As of December 31, 2022, the Company had $135.3 million of authorization remaining for repurchase under the Stock Repurchase Program.
Our principal uses of cash include the production, acquisition and promotion of programming, technology investments, debt service and payments for income taxes. We continue to invest in original programming, the funding of which generally occurs six to nine months in advance of a program's airing.
As of December 31, 2022, our consolidated cash and cash equivalents balance of $930.0 million includes approximately $338.3 million held by foreign subsidiaries. Most or all of the earnings of our foreign subsidiaries will continue to be permanently reinvested in foreign operations and we do not expect to incur any significant, additional taxes related to such amounts, nor have any been provided for in the current period.
We believe that a combination of cash-on-hand, cash generated from operating activities, availability under our revolving credit facility, borrowings under additional financing facilities and, when we have access to capital and credit markets, proceeds from the sale of new debt, will provide sufficient liquidity to service the principal and interest payments on our indebtedness, along with our other funding and investment requirements over the next twelve months and over the longer term. However, we do not expect to generate sufficient cash from operations to repay the then outstanding balances of our debt at the applicable maturity dates. As a result, we will be dependent upon our ability to access the capital and credit markets in order to repay, refinance, repurchase through privately negotiated transactions, tender offers or otherwise or redeem the outstanding balances of our indebtedness. Given the maturity dates of our 5.00% senior notes due 2024 and our 4.75% senior notes due 2025, we may access the capital or credit markets in the near term to refinance those senior notes through privately negotiated transactions, tender offers or redemptions.
Failure to raise significant amounts of funding to repay our outstanding debt obligations at their respective maturity dates would adversely affect our business. In such a circumstance, we would need to take other actions including selling assets, seeking strategic investments from third parties or reducing other discretionary uses of cash. See Item 1A, "Risk Factors – Risks Related to Our Debt" in this Annual Report.
Cash Flow Discussion
The following table is a summary of cash flows provided by (used in) operations for the periods indicated:
|Years Ended December 31,|
|Cash provided by operating activities||$||181,834 ||$||143,474 |
|Cash used in investing activities||(39,385)||(26,582)|
|Cash used in financing activities||(97,115)||(84,103)|
|Net increase in cash and cash equivalents||$||45,334 ||$||32,789 |
Net cash provided by operating activities for 2022 and 2021 amounted to $181.8 million and $143.5 million, respectively.
In 2022, net cash provided by operating activities primarily resulted from $1,524.6 million of net income before amortization of program rights, depreciation and amortization, and other non-cash items, partially offset by payments for
program rights of $1,347.4 million. Changes in all other assets and liabilities during the year resulted in a net cash inflow of $4.6 million.
In 2021, net cash provided by operating activities primarily resulted from net income before amortization of program rights, depreciation and amortization, and other non-cash items of $1,425.5 million, partially offset by payments for program rights of $1,297.8 million. Changes in all other assets and liabilities resulted in a net cash inflow of $15.8 million.
Net cash used in investing activities for 2022 and 2021 was $39.4 million and $26.6 million, respectively.
In 2022, net cash used in investing activities primarily consisted of capital expenditures of $44.3 million and an additional investment in an equity security of $5.0 million, partially offset by proceeds from the sales of a marketable equity security of $9.9 million.
In 2021, net cash used in investing activities was primarily related to the acquisition of investments of $30.3 million, payments for the acquisition of a business of $62.1 million, and capital expenditures of $42.6 million, partially offset by proceeds from the sales of investments of $95.4 million and the collection of a loan for $20.0 million. All other changes in investing activities resulted in a decrease of $7.0 million.
Net cash used in financing activities for 2022 and 2021 was $97.1 million and $84.1 million, respectively.
In 2022, net cash used in financing activities primarily consisted of distributions to noncontrolling interests of $35.0 million, principal payments on the Term Loan A Facility of $33.8 million, taxes paid in lieu of shares issued for equity-based compensation of $22.3 million, principal payments on finance leases of $3.6 million, and the purchase of noncontrolling interests of $2.5 million.
In 2021, net cash used in financing activities consisted of principal payments, net of proceeds, on long-term debt (including the redemption of $400 million of 4.75% Notes due December 2022 and $600 million of 5.00% Notes due April 2024) of $30.5 million, taxes paid in lieu of shares issued for equity-based compensation of $32.9 million, and distributions to noncontrolling interests of $29.4 million and payments on finance leases of $3.8 million, partially offset by proceeds from the exercise of stock options of $9.8 million and contributions from noncontrolling interests of $2.7 million.
Debt Financing Agreements
The Company's principal amount of long-term debt consists of:
|(In thousands)||December 31, 2022||December 31, 2021|
Senior Secured Credit Facility:(a)
|Term Loan A Facility||$||641,250 ||$||675,000 |
|Senior Notes: |
|5.00% Notes due April 2024||400,000 ||400,000 |
|4.75% Notes due August 2025||800,000 ||800,000 |
|4.25% Notes due February 2029||1,000,000 ||1,000,000 |
|Principal amount of debt||$||2,841,250 ||$||2,875,000 |
(a) The Company's $500 million revolving credit facility remains undrawn at December 31, 2022. Total undrawn revolver commitments are available to be drawn for general corporate purposes of the Company.
On February 8, 2021, we issued $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 4.25% senior notes due February 15, 2029 (the “4.25% Notes due 2029”) in a registered public offering and received net proceeds of $982.3 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and expenses. We used such proceeds to redeem (i) the remaining $400 million principal amount of our 4.75% senior notes due 2022 and (ii) $600 million principal amount of our 5.00% senior notes due 2024 on February 26, 2021 (the "Redemption Date"). The 4.75% senior notes due 2022 were redeemed at a redemption price of 100.000% of the principal amount of such notes and the 5.00% senior notes due 2024 were redeemed at a redemption price of 102.500% of the principal amount of such notes, in each case, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but excluding, the Redemption Date. In connection with the redemptions, we incurred a loss on extinguishment of debt for the year ended December 31, 2021 of $22.1 million representing the redemption premium and the write-off of a portion of the unamortized discount and deferred financing costs.
On February 8, 2021, the Company entered into Amendment No. 1 (“Amendment No. 1”) to its existing credit agreement (the "Credit Agreement"). Amendment No. 1 extends the maturity dates of the $675 million term loan A facility and $500 million revolving credit facility under the Credit Agreement to February 8, 2026, and makes certain other amendments to the covenants and other provisions of the Credit Agreement.
AMC Networks was in compliance with all of its debt covenants as of December 31, 2022.
Additional information regarding our outstanding indebtedness and the significant terms and provisions of our Senior Secured Credit Facility and our Senior Notes is discussed in Note 11 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and is incorporated herein by reference.
Supplemental Guarantor Financial Information
The following is a description of the terms and conditions of the guarantees with respect to the outstanding notes for which AMC Networks is the issuer.
Debt of AMC Networks as of December 31, 2022 included $400.0 million of 5.00% Notes due April 2024, $800.0 million of 4.75% Notes due August 2025, and $1.0 billion of 4.25% Notes due February 2029 (collectively, the “notes”). The notes were issued by AMC Networks and are unconditionally guaranteed, jointly and severally, on an unsecured basis, by each of AMC Networks’ existing and future domestic restricted subsidiaries, subject to certain exceptions (each, a “Guarantor Subsidiary,” and collectively, the “Guarantor Subsidiaries”). The obligations of each Guarantor Subsidiary under its note guarantee are limited as necessary to prevent such note guarantee from constituting a fraudulent conveyance under applicable law. A guarantee of the notes by a Guarantor Subsidiary is subject to release in the following circumstances: (i) any sale or other disposition of all of the capital stock of a Guarantor Subsidiary to a person that is not (either before or after giving effect to such transaction) a restricted subsidiary, in compliance with the terms of the applicable indenture; (ii) the designation of a restricted subsidiary as an “Unrestricted Subsidiary” under the applicable indenture; or (iii) the release or discharge of the guarantee (including the guarantee under the AMC Networks’ credit agreement) which resulted in the creation of the note guarantee (provided that such Guarantor Subsidiary does not have any preferred stock outstanding at such time that is not held by AMC Networks or another Guarantor Subsidiary).
Foreign subsidiaries of AMC Networks do not and will not guarantee the notes.
The following tables present the summarized financial information specified in Rule 1-02(bb)(1) of Regulation S-X for AMC Networks and each Guarantor Subsidiary. The summarized financial information has been prepared in accordance with Rule 13-01 of Regulation S-X.
Summarized Financial Information
|(In thousands)||Year Ended December 31, 2022||Year Ended December 31, 2021|
|Parent Company||Guarantor Subsidiaries||Parent Company||Guarantor Subsidiaries|
|Revenues||$||— ||$||2,244,245 ||$||— ||$||2,137,263 |
|Operating expenses||— ||2,165,131 ||— ||1,713,682 |
|Operating income||$||— ||$||79,114 ||$||— ||$||423,581 |
|Income (loss) before income taxes||$||(49,040)||$||91,088 ||$||314,283 ||$||472,985 |
|Net income||7,594 ||82,396 ||250,596 ||463,637 |
|Balance Sheet||December 31, 2022||December 31, 2021|
|(In thousands)||Parent Company||Guarantor Subsidiaries||Parent Company||Guarantor Subsidiaries|
|Amounts due from subsidiaries||$||— ||$||79,020 ||$||— ||$||— |
|Current assets||44,045 ||1,258,759 ||9,991 ||1,242,724 |
|Non-current assets||3,893,205 ||3,706,858 ||4,010,028 ||3,633,383 |
|Liabilities and equity:|
|Amounts due to subsidiaries||$||68,682 ||$||6,783 ||$||12,797 ||$||5,324 |
|Current liabilities||157,658 ||872,109 ||100,969 ||671,041 |
|Non-current liabilities||2,972,602 ||330,467 ||3,067,962 ||331,860 |
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
In preparing our consolidated financial statements, we are required to make certain estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the periods presented. These estimates and assumptions can be subjective and complex and, consequently, actual results could differ materially from our estimates and assumptions. We base our estimates on historical experience, known or expected trends and other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances.
We believe the following critical accounting policies comprise the more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements:
Licensed rights to programming, including feature films and episodic series, are stated at the lower of amortized cost or fair value. Such licensed rights along with the related obligations are recorded at the contract value when a license agreement is executed, unless there is uncertainty with respect to either cost, acceptability or availability. If such uncertainty exists, those rights and obligations are recorded at the earlier of when the uncertainty is resolved or when the license period begins. Costs are amortized to technical and operating expense on a straight-line or accelerated basis, based on the expected exploitation strategy of the rights, over a period not to exceed the respective license periods. We periodically review the remaining useful lives of our licensed program rights based on several factors, including expected future revenue generation from airings on our networks and other exploitation opportunities, ratings, type and quality of program material, standards and practices and fitness for exhibition through various forms of distribution. If it is determined that film or other program rights have limited, or no, future programming usefulness, the remaining useful life of such rights is adjusted accordingly, which may result in the accelerated amortization or write-off of such costs to technical and operating expense.
Owned original programming costs, including estimated participation and residual costs qualifying for capitalization, are recorded as program rights on the consolidated balance sheet. Program rights that are predominantly monetized individually are amortized to technical and operating expense over their estimated useful lives, commencing upon the first airing, based on attributable revenue for airings to date as a percentage of total projected attributable revenue ("ultimate revenue") under the individual-film-forecast-computation method. Program rights that are monetized as a group are amortized based on projected usage, typically resulting in an accelerated amortization pattern. We base our estimates of ultimate revenue primarily on distribution and advertising revenues historically generated from similar content in comparable markets, and projected program usage. Projected program usage is based on our current expectation of future exhibitions. We periodically review ultimate revenue estimates and projected program usage and revise our assumptions if necessary, which could either accelerate or delay the timing of amortization expense or result in a write-down of unamortized costs to fair value. For example, a program's strong performance could result in increased usage and increased attributable revenues in a particular period, resulting in accelerated amortization of costs in that period. Poor ratings may result in the reduction of attributable revenue from planned usage or the abandonment of a program, which would require a write-off of any unamortized costs. Actual attributable revenue and exhibitions may vary from our projections due to factors such as market acceptance, levels of distribution and advertising revenue, resulting in changes to our decisions regarding planned program usage. A failure to adjust for a downward change in estimates of ultimate revenue could result in the understatement of program rights amortization expense for the period. Any capitalized development costs for programs that we determine will not be produced are also written off. Historically, other than instances of write-offs associated with our decisions to abandon programming, actual ultimate revenue amounts have not significantly differed from our estimates of ultimate revenue.
There were no significant program write-offs included in technical and operating expense for the year ended December 31, 2022. Refer to Note 5 for amounts recorded to restructuring expense in connection with the Company’s strategic programming assessments. Program rights write-offs of $12.8 million were recorded for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Useful Lives of Affiliate Intangible Assets
The carrying amount of our intangible assets as of December 31, 2022 is $354.7 million, of which $260.8 million is comprised of affiliate relationships acquired in business combinations. Useful lives of affiliate relationships (ranging from 6 to 25 years) are initially determined based upon weighted average remaining terms of agreements in place with major distributors when purchase accounting is applied, plus an assumption for expected renewals. We periodically update our assumption for expected renewals based on recent experience and known or expected trends. We have historically been successful in renewing our major affiliation agreements and expect to renew such agreements in the future. However, if renewal trends deteriorate in the future (e.g., failure to renew, or renewals with significantly shorter terms), we may revise the remaining useful lives of affiliate intangible assets, resulting in higher amortization expenses in future periods.
Goodwill is not amortized, but instead is tested for impairment at the reporting unit level annually as of December 1, or more frequently upon the occurrence of certain events or substantive changes in circumstances. The annual goodwill impairment test allows for the option to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If it is determined, on the basis of qualitative factors, that the fair value of a reporting unit is, more likely than not, less than its carrying value, the quantitative impairment test is required. The quantitative impairment test calculates any goodwill impairment as the difference between the carrying amount of a reporting unit and its fair value, but not to exceed the carrying amount of goodwill.
For our annual impairment test, we performed quantitative impairment tests for all reporting units. The impairment test for goodwill requires judgment related to the identification of reporting units, the assignment of assets and liabilities to reporting units including goodwill, and the determination of fair value of the reporting units. The quantitative impairment test evaluates whether the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its estimated fair value. We estimate the fair value of our reporting units based on the present value of future cash flows (“Discounted Cash Flow Method”) and the total enterprise value multiples of publicly traded comparable companies (“Market Comparables Method”). The Discounted Cash Flow Method requires us to make various assumptions regarding the timing and amount of future cash flows, including revenue growth rates, operating margins, and programming and working capital investments for a projection period, plus the terminal value of the business at the end of the projection period. The assumptions about future cash flows are based on internal forecasts, which incorporates our long-term business plans and historical trends and are subject to a greater degree of uncertainty in times of adverse economic conditions. The terminal value is estimated based on a perpetual growth rate, which is based on historical and projected inflation and economic indicators, as well as industry growth projections. A discount rate is determined for the reporting unit based on the risks of achieving the future cash flows, including risks applicable to the industry and market as a whole, as well as the capital structure of comparable entities. The Market Comparables Method incorporates revenue and earnings multiples from publicly traded companies with operations and other characteristics similar to each reporting unit. The
selected multiples consider each reporting unit’s relative growth, profitability, size, and risk relative to the selected publicly traded companies.
The carrying amount of goodwill, by operating segment is as follows:
|(In thousands)||December 31, 2022|
|Domestic Operations||$||349,292 |
|International and Other||294,127 |
Based on our annual impairment tests for goodwill during 2022, we recorded an impairment charge of $40.7 million related to our AMCNI reporting unit. For our two other reporting units, we concluded that the estimated fair value of the reporting units exceeded their respective carrying values by 27% and 15%, and therefore no impairment charge was required. See Note 9 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional details.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
The information regarding recently issued accounting pronouncements is discussed in Note 2 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and is incorporated herein by reference.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.
Fair Value of Debt
Based on the level of interest rates prevailing at December 31, 2022, the fair value of o