AMC NETWORKS, HOME OF THE COMEDY NETWORK IFC, TAKES MINORITY OWNERSHIP STAKE IN FUNNY OR DIE
Distinctive Comedy Brands Will Collaborate On Initiatives
That Leverage Strengths And Put Creative Sensibilities First
NEW YORK, NY and LOS ANGELES, CA - November 15, 2016 - AMC Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AMCX), which owns and operates the comedy network IFC, today announced that it has acquired a minority ownership stake in Funny Or Die, which will allow two strong, leading comedy brands to expand their collaboration and create smart, culturally relevant comedy across television, digital and social platforms.
IFC and Funny Or Die have a long history of successful collaborations, most recently on the forthcoming IFC series "Brockmire," starring Hank Azaria, which began as a Funny Or Die short. The investment will allow IFC and Funny Or Die to work together on larger business and creative initiatives that leverage IFC's strength in the linear space and Funny Or Die's powerful digital and social presence. Possible collaborations are likely to include Funny Or Die-branded programming blocks on IFC and additional original content development for television and digital platforms along with ad sales opportunities as both companies look forward to further innovation via creative and business partnerships. Following the investment, Funny Or Die will continue to operate independently, allowing it to invest in its growth by also working with other distributors, networks and studios. IFC President Jennifer Caserta will be joining the Funny Or Die board.
"IFC has established itself as a television network and influential comedy brand able to leverage cultural relevance and both critical and popular acclaim to attract top talent and creators," Caserta said. "Both IFC and Funny Or Die have a proven track record of producing breakout content. The ability to work together more closely and increase our commitment to delivering more content on all platforms makes for an extremely significant partnership for both companies, and for the millions of fans of our comedy. It also marks a small, but important, first step towards my ultimate goal of appearing on 'Between Two Ferns' with Zach Galifianakis."
"This is really the perfect partnership for us, because we get to work closely with a brand and team at IFC that we trust and respect, while also staying true to the irreverent, independent vision of our founders, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay," said Mike Farah, CEO of Funny Or Die. "This move will be great business for both of our companies as we capitalize on our combined audiences, our complementary platforms, and our premium content. It will also be great for my wardrobe, because AMC Networks' President and CEO Josh Sapan has been sending me these really nice shirts, and I hope that continues now that we've closed the deal."
"We met on Tinder, things moved fast, and now we're getting married," said Ferrell and McKay.
IFC is one of the strongest comedy brands on television, with signature shows including the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning "Portlandia," heading into its seventh season with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated "Documentary Now!," created by Seth Meyers, Bill Hader and Armisen, "Comedy Bang! Bang!" with Scott Aukerman, "Stan Against Evil," created by Dana Gould and starring John C. McGinley and Janet Varney and, coming in 2017, the Funny Or Die produced "Brockmire," starring Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet. The network has also established a strong digital presence via IFC.com, the IFC app and the Comedy Crib website, which features fresh, new comedic voices and talent. Additionally, IFC has innovative and enduring advertising relationships across its entire schedule which features an "Always On, Slightly Off" mix of classic films, off-net comedies and original programming.
With an audience of over 60 million people on multiple platforms, award-winning Funny Or Die has extensive reach across online, television and social media. Funny Or Die is the number one comedy brand on Facebook and Twitter, and attracts a young, influential audience with hits like "Between Two Ferns" and a wide range of content from big names like Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, and hot young comic talent like Jerrod Carmichael and T.J. Miller. The Emmy Award-winning company also has a growing presence in television, with popular shows like "Billy on the Street" on truTV and "@midnight" on Comedy Central, and comedy specials such as "Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles" and the upcoming T.J. Miller special on HBO.
IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Original series "Portlandia," "Documentary Now!," "Stan Against Evil" and the upcoming "Brockmire" (April 2017) air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On Slightly Off.
About Funny Or Die
Funny Or Die launched in April 2007 and has grown into a premier comedy brand and production studio known for creating award-winning, high-quality content with a global audience of more than 60 million. Funny Or Die produces content for over 15 platforms and is the #1 comedy brand on both Twitter and Facebook. Funny Or Die is the top destination for celebrity-driven comedy videos and highly topical political commentary. Funny Or Die's founders are Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy) and Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Judd Apatow is also a principal partner.