AMC Hopes for ‘Breaking Bad’ Deal ‘Fairly Soon,’ CEO Says

CEO speaks during earnings call; revenue up, profits slightly down from same period last year

AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan says he hopes for a deal soon to keep "Breaking Bad" on the network beyond its current season.

AMC has been negotiating with Sony PIctures Television, which produces the show, on a fifth and likely final season. Negotiations hit a low point when AMC asked if the season could be just six to eight episodes — prompting the show's creators to approach FX about a possible move there. But AMC has since relented in its request, and the tone of negotiations has improved.

"We very much like the show. We think it's outstanding," Sapan said during a conference call about the compay's second-quarter earnings Thursday. "We think Sony's done a spectaclar job and they're a great partner, so we're actively working on a new [agreement] wth them. … we hope we'll have resolution fairly soon."

The company, which was spun off from Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings at the end of June, reported profits of $27 million ($0.39 per share) for continuing operations, compared with $31 million ($0.44 per share) in the second quarter of 2010. Continuing operations exclude businesses that remained with Cablevision.

AMC said the decrease resulted partly from $20 million in costs related to the spin-off.

Net revenues increased 12.3 percent to $292 million, mostly on a 21.3 percent increase in ad revenue. The increase was led by AMC and WE tv, and to a lesser extent by an increase at IFC. AMC Networks also includes the Sundance Channel.

Adjusted operating cash flow increased 9.2 percent to $112 million, while operating income increased 14.8 percent to $82 million.