The Walking Dead Streaming Rights Up In The Air, AMC Compares Show To Game Of Thrones

The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond could be finding new streaming homes in the near future. Currently, The Walking Dead puts completed seasons on Netflix, Fear the Walking Dead goes to Hulu, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond has not finished a season yet. However, the streaming licenses for these shows are gearing up to expire and AMC is looking to find the best option for their network with hundreds of total episodes of the zombie dramas at their fingertips. Where will they land? There are a few options in mind for AMC.

"Asked about plans for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead when current streaming licensing deals end, management said it should have more than 225 hours in zombies content," THR reports of AMC. "COO Ed Carroll said the company will have the freedom to use that on its own platforms, such as AMC+, or aggressively license it again. He compared the appeal of the franchise to Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, saying: 'There will always be people who want to see that show' and aging into it."

AMC has been pushing its AMC+ subscription service with encouraging benefits. Those who subscribe to the service currently get early access to episodes of Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Talking Dead, for example. Current estimates from the network have AMC Networks streaming services closing in on 3.5 million to 4.0 million paid subscribers. This is an umbrella number from Shudder, Acorn TV, Sundance Now, and UMC, estimating the closing figures for 2020. This is "a full two years ahead of the company's original target of year-end 2022," according to CEO Josh Sapan.

The Walking Dead Season 10 finale paired with the two spinoff shows having new episodes seem to have provided a pleasing boost for AMC's streaming numbers. “The company delivered solid results in the third quarter, and we continue to maintain a strong financial profile, with a solid balance sheet, very good liquidity and healthy levels of free cash flow," Sapan says.

Where the shows end up remains to be seen but given the value AMC sees in them, the decision will come down to how much is offered for licensing to other streaming services versus how much of a draw to AMC+ there might be from having the Walking Dead shows exclusively on their own platform.