Josh Sapan, President and Chief Executive, AMC Networks has told the RTS Cambridge Convention that the availability of content on streaming services has helped grow audiences on linear channels.

“The availability of past seasons to be sampled has led people to the linear transmission,” said Saplan, who has held his post at AMC for some 20 years. “It’s different than anything there has ever been in the past. It’s possible that really big shows are aided in a window by SVOD and the lesser shows by not so much.”

Saplan went on to describe the impact of social media on AMC series that includes such hits as The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, both rejected by the big US networks. The democratisation brought about by viewers talking about what they had seen on social media had enabled companies such as AMC to produce major hit shows, without the company growing in size.

Changes in technology patterns and consumption have led AMC to ensure it is the owner of the content it carries.”There’s some maturity in the market in terms of total subscriber count and a move towards streaming, and the ability for people to defeat commercials by recording things on their PVR.”

Sapan said his view on this had not shifted over 10 years.