AMC earnings are up despite lower live views for The Walking Dead season 7

Rick Grimes and Negan in Alexandria - The Walking Dead, AMC
Rick Grimes and Negan in Alexandria - The Walking Dead, AMC /

AMC earnings for the first quarter of 2017 beat estimates thanks largely to The Walking Dead. Even though live views are down the show is still a huge asset for AMC.

As reported by Hollywood Reporter the first quarter earnings for AMC beat all estimates. The Walking Dead season 7B played a large role in that success. But naysayers were quick to point out that ad revenues were less than expected during the same time period.

According to Hollywood Reporter the AMC CEO Josh Sapan mentioned that the network considers more than just live views when gauging how appealing AMC’s flagship zombie program is to advertisers. Extended views, streaming views, social media mentions and interactions and live views together provide a more comprehensive picture of the appeal of the show.

The Walking Dead has a significant impact on social media and extended views of the show have increased the total viewership for each episode in season 7 by an average of 5 million views. Even without the extended views The Walking Dead remains the undisputed leader in its top slot on Sunday nights. No other show comes close to matching those kind of ratings.

AMC also has the consistently second rated show on Sunday nights, Talking Dead, which normally airs directly after The Walking Dead. But AMC has moved Talking Dead out of its time slot several times to give Into The Badlands the slot directly after The Walking Dead. This ploy to get more views for Into The Badlands didn’t sit well with fans.

More from Undead Walking

Ads Impact How Fans Watch The Walking Dead

Not wanting to have their favorite show interrupted by ads is one of the reasons why many fans are choosing alternative viewing methods. Live views of The Walking Dead are down in part because people are choosing to watch the show on DVR or streaming online where they won’t have to deal with as many ads.

AMC is aware of this. According to reports the network is looking at the feasibility of launching a stand alone streaming channel for original content. There would be a small fee for this service but viewers wouldn’t be subjected to constant ads.

Some premium channels like HBO and Starz are already trying out this model. As AMC moves towards producing more original content the addition of a streaming channel would give the network a better vehicle for distributing original content. It would also give fans the ad free viewing experience that they prefer.

Next: All named character deaths from season 7

There are no plans in place yet for this type of streaming channel but hopefully it’s something the network is seriously looking into. In the meantime there’s no reason to think that The Walking Dead and other AMC originals won’t continue to dominate cable TV.