A Netflix/AMC Merger Would be a Win for All
If current speculation for Netflix's bid for AMC Networks lives up to hype, it could be a match made in heaven for the on-demand streaming giant and embattled cable network.
Earlier Friday morning, Benzinga reported that Rich Tullo of Albert Fried upgraded AMC (NASDAQ: AMCX) shares from Underweight to Overweight based on the possibility that Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) may attempt to acquire the company. Tullo's price target on AMC Network increased from $43 to $80.
The acquisition would further Netflix's mission to establish itself as a key distributor of original content, which began ominously enough with the streaming service's $100 million exclusive House of Cards.
Adding the AMC roster, which includes mega hits Mad Men and The Walking Dead, would only bolster Netflix's foray into original programming and perhaps bring the company new subscribers.
The deal could have significant benefits for AMC as well. The cable network -- asking for a more money in light of its recent success -- has developed contentious relationships with cable providers as of late.
AMC would be liberated from dealing with lowballing cable providers, including DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH) , which dropped AMC from June through October 2012 before a court settlement. Meanwhile, AMC spent much of December 2012 feuding with Verizon Fios (NYSE: VZ).
Consumers seem well positioned to gain from the move. Even if Netflix takes AMC off the air, devotees of the network's critically acclaimed programming can easily dump a $100 cable package for an $8 monthly Netflix subscription.
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