AMC Networks’ stock is showing faint signs of life on Wednesday morning, one day after the cable network was pummeled for its ghastly “Walking Dead” ratings.
Shares of AMCX ticked up about 1 percent in early morning trading, hitting $60.60 per share.
That’d make shareholders smile, if it wasn’t for the horror story its flagship show provided the day before. The Season 9 premiere of “The Walking Dead” drew 6.1 million total viewers this past weekend, TheWrap reported on Tuesday, marking a sharp 23 percent drop from last weekend’s season finale. The ratings hit was felt on Wall Street, as AMCX shares dipped nearly 7 percent.
Dig deeper, and the numbers were even uglier for AMC. Its 3.2 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 age demographic was down 27 percent from the Season 8 finale. Worse yet, the demo tally is less than half the 6.5 million that tuned in “live” to see the Season 8 premiere. The comparable episode last year hauled in 11.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen’s Live + Same Day ratings.
And unfortunately, the show’s October 2017 start was already down 35 percent versus its own predecessor.
Still, there are a few reasons for AMC shareholders to smile. The Walking Dead” Season 9 premiere was popular enough to make it the No. 1 cable show thus far this season among adults 18-49. It’s the seventh-straight season that claim holds true. And since the start of 2018, AMC’s stock has climbed 12 percent, even after its gut punch earlier this week.