AMC Networks Inc continue to forge ahead in television drama, and a $200 million purchase of BBC America will bolster both networks. AMC, the home of The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, has acquired a 49.9 per cent stake to run BBC America, including affiliate and advertising sales.

Top of the LakeBBC America and AMC collaborated on the drama 'Top of the Lake', with Elisabeth Moss

The high profile deal will bring the likes of Doctor Who and Top Gear under the AMC banner, which already has a roster including The Walking Dead and Mad Men. The network, which also owns the Sundance and IFC channels, will include BBC America when it negotiates for fees.

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"We will be essential to distributors because we will be essential to their customers," AMC Chief Executive Officer Josh Sapan told Bloomberg in a phone interview. "With that, you can get pricing power."

Creatively, it marks a huge deal in the television business. Both AMC and BBC America produce critically acclaimed shows, both viewed by the affluent and influential audiences in the U.S. The networks also have strong collaborative form together and co-produced the superb drama Top of the Lake with Elisabeth Moss and The Honourable Woman, with Maggie Gyllenhaal

Walking DeadAMC is the home of critically acclaimed dramas like The Walking Dead [above], Breaking Bad and Mad Men

"This is an opportunity to grow the creative quality and ambition from an already high base," BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie said.

As well as strengthening AMC's position in the market, the deal will also help the BBC World News channel to reach out to U.S. audiences. Currently, it's available in around 30 million U.S. homes. 

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