AMC Networks is buying control of RLJ Entertainment, operator of SVoD service Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel. AMC already owns 30.1 per cent of RLJ and warrants against loans that would give it 50.1 per cent. It will be paying another $65 million (€55.5m) to take RLJ private and value the company at $274 million.
Johnson and his affiliates will continue to own 17 per cent of RLJ, which will become an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks.
“This acquisition furthers AMC Networks’ digital strategy by meaningfully accelerating our interests in direct-to-consumer ad-free subscription services that we own and control, in addition to providing us with access to strong IP as we continue to diversify our revenue opportunities, placing AMC Networks in a stronger position over the long term,” said AMC CEO Josh Sapan.
AMC and UMC claim around 800,000 subscribers between them.