October 23, 2014 / 11:01 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-AMC Networks buys 49.9 pct stake in BBC America

(Adds Background)

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Cable TV network AMC Networks Inc said on Thursday it agreed to pay $200 million for a 49.9 percent stake in BBC America and would take operational control of the channel.

BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent stake in BBC America.

BBC America, available on cable and satellite TV in 80 million U.S. homes, airs popular drama series such as “Doctor Who” and “Orphan Black.”

AMC Networks, the home of “The Walking Dead,” “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” will have operational control of BBC America, including affiliate and advertising sales. AMC will consolidate the results of the joint venture in its financial statements.

BBC America will be managed as a standalone channel within the AMC Networks portfolio and BBC Worldwide North America will continue as a wholly owned regional business within BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

AMC will also handle U.S. distribution and advertising sales for BBC World News.

AMC and BBC have worked together in the past on productions like “Top of the Lake” and “The Honourable Woman.” (Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan, editing by Ted Kerr and Dan Grebler)

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