The Walking Dead might be getting record ratings, but it looks like those ratings are turning into cold, hard cash. AMC Networks has just reported a 16.1% growth in net income in the first quarter of 2014.
Of course, the vast majority of this boost has come from The Walking Dead, arguably AMC's flagship show. Revenue rose to $71.4 million, or 98 cents per share, from $61.5 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier. Now, I'm not an economic expert, but I can definitely tell when one number is bigger than another, and I presume AMC are extremely happy with this growth.
Furthermore, across the company's other networks, revenue had rose 20.7 percent to $449 million for the year. AMC explained much of this growth was due to ad revenue derived from original programming at the network. Although The Walking Dead probably deserves the lion's share of praise, we also mustn't rule out the success of AMC's other shows in the last year, including Mad Men, and of course, the incredible Breaking Bad.
With AMC making more and more money off The Walking Dead, I doubt we can expect to see it leave our screens anytime soon, regardless of what Robert Kirkman might suspect.
However, there is a darker side to all this. Once shows become the keystone to a network's financial success, they can become victim to more interference from above and increased pressure to deliver figures. This could potentially ruin a show, as more and more power is wrestled from 'creative types' towards business brains.
What do you think? Do you think the financial success of The Walking Dead could come back to bite it in the ass? Let me know below.
Did you watch AMC before The Walking Dead came along?