AMC Networks is now somewhere over the rainbow. Formerly Rainbow Media Holdings, the company is a leading cable television broadcaster with a portfolio of popular TV networks anchored by American Movie Classics (AMC), the cable network airing such critical hits as Mad Men and Breaking Bad that reaches more than 95 million households. It also owns The Independent Film Channel (IFC), the Sundance Channel, and WE: Women's Entertainment (WE tv), one of the top networks aimed at women viewers. The company was a former subsidiary of Cablevision Systems until mid-2011, when Cablevision spun off Rainbow Media Holdings into a publicly traded company and changed its name to AMC Networks.
Believing that both companies would operate more effectively if they were two distinct companies, Cablevision Systems spun-off of Rainbow Media in order to focus on its core cable television service business.
Like other cable network operators, AMC Networks is constantly focused on developing or acquiring new programming to attract viewers to its television properties. It also targets the networks to specific demographic groups or niche interests, such as women and film fans. By targeting the programming, the company can deliver specific audiences that advertisers want to reach.
The company's WE tv network is singularly focused on chasing down rivals Lifetime (part of A&E Television Networks) and Oxygen (part of NBCUniversal) primarily with a hefty dose of reality programming such as Bridezillas, The Locator, and My Fair Wedding. The company's AMC channel, meanwhile, has found both critical and ratings success with original series programming such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead. In addition, its IFC Films division is focused on the distribution of independent films under the Sundance Selects, IFC Films, IFC Midnight, IFC Productions, IFC Center, and SundanceNow brands.
AMC Networks previously oversaw the Madison Square Garden (MSG) collection of sports operations until parent Cablevision spun off the unit to shareholders in 2010. The move was intended to help the company focus on its cable programming operations while allowing MSG to concentrate on improving its Knicks and Rangers sports franchises. – less