BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster’s international commercial division, is selling 49.9% of its BBC America channel to AMC Networks.
The channel is almost 80 million US homes and airs BBC shows such as Top Gear and Doctor Who, plus programmes from other British broadcasters including ITV’s Broadchurch.
Although it will be the minority shareholder, AMC will assume operational control of the channel, its affiliate and advertising sales, but BBC Worldwide says the channel will still be run “consistent with the BBC’s editorial standards and policies”.
The $200m deal commits AMC Networks and the BBC Television to jointly pursue a number of future projects, both through BBC AMERICA and AMC Networks channels which include AMC, IFC, WE tv, and SundanceTV.
“The BBC is one of the most recognized, trusted and respected brands in the world and we are proud to partner with it to create a content offering unmatched in the industry.
“I have great respect for what Herb Scannell and his team have achieved over the past four years, elevating BBC AMERICA’s profile, performance and productions,” said Josh Sapan, AMC Networks President and CEO.
Tony Hall, BBC Director-General and Chairman of BBC Worldwide, added: “This partnership brings together the whole BBC and will help us reach new audiences in the U.S., strengthen BBC AMERICA’s position for the long term and create opportunities for the UK creative community.
“We’ve already worked successfully with AMC Networks on award-winning productions of Top of the Lake and the Honourable Woman and this partnership means we can produce even more top quality drama together. And I hope this is the beginning of us working together on other future projects too.”