In a surprising turn of events, BT TV subscribers received emails today announcing the removal of the long-running AMC channel from BT’s TV platform.
Effective September 28, 2023, both the linear AMC channel and all its on-demand content will no longer be available on BT TV.
From iconic shows like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, to more contemporary hits like Fear the Walking Dead, The AMC channel has been a staple on BT TV since its UK launch in 2015.
Of course, many of AMC’s programmes have also been available elsewhere in the UK (such as on Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming platforms) – but the channel was available at no extra cost on some of BT TV’s bundles, so it did bring with it some added value.
The decision to remove the AMC channel is bound to impact a significant number of viewers who have grown fond of the channel’s diverse content offerings, even though it’s been getting a bit… empty, in recent years.
But is this the end of AMC’s direct presence in the UK, or are we likely to see a UK version of their international streaming service – AMC+?
What is AMC on BT TV?
The AMC channel, as featured on BT TV, launched in the UK back in 2015 – and was exclusive to BT TV / BT Sports customers (it was available on Sky for a while, only to BT Sports subscribers – but it was later removed from Sky’s platform).
In the US, The AMC channel is a distinguished entertainment channel known for its diverse film selections across various genres. It has earned a reputation for its groundbreaking original programming.
The channel has been responsible for some of the most critically acclaimed television series in recent history, such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and others.
In addition to these classics, AMC continues to broadcast a range of original titles, including Fear the Walking Dead, Into The Badlands, Hap & Leonard, and Dietland, to name a few.
In the UK, some of AMC’s shows were available on its linear BT channel – but many others were available elsewhere. The Walking Dead, for example, is available on Disney+, and Fear The Walking Dead is available both on the AMC channel – and on Amazon’s Prime Video.For BT TV subscribers, AMC is currently accessible on Channel 332 in its standard format and on Channel 381 in high definition.
Furthermore, BT TV provides its customers with the option to access AMC’s on-demand content through the BT Player.
BT TV Explained
BT TV, a television platform provided by BT for its broadband customers, offers a range of TV bundles that encompass streaming services, premium channels, and the BT TV Pro set-top box.
The core of BT’s Entertainment TV plan includes subscriptions to popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Sky’s NOW.
Additionally, all BT TV bundles come equipped with BT’s 4K Youview recorder box, allowing users to watch (and record) Freeview without needing an aerial.
These bundles have seen a series of price hikes, with the most recent one occurring last March.
For instance, the BT Entertainment Bundle, priced at £20/month as of 2023, offers subscribers the “Basic” (ad-free) Netflix subscription, Sky’s NOW Entertainment membership (which features channels like Sky Atlantic), the 4K Pro box – and, until September 28 – the AMC channel.
This package has seen a steady increase in its monthly cost, rising from its initial £16/month in 2021.
It’s worth noting that subscribing to some of these services individually might be more cost-effective, but the inclusion of the BT TV Pro 4K box, along with exclusive channels like AMC, adds value to the bundle.
Furthermore, BT TV packages are tied to BT’s broadband plans, meaning one cannot subscribe to BT TV without also being a BT broadband customer.
These packages usually come with a 24-month contract, but they offer flexibility in terms of changing the TV package every 30 days, allowing users to switch between entertainment and sports or even upgrade to higher tiers of services like Netflix.
And as mentioned – from September 28, AMC will no longer be a part of BT TV’s bundles – for new AND existing subscribers.
Is AMC+ Coming To The UK?
With the linear AMC channel more or less coming to an end in the UK (at least as far as we know so far), there’s speculation as to whether we’ll see AMC’s standalone streaming service reach our shores.
AMC+ is an American subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service owned by AMC Networks. Launched on June 11, 2020, AMC+ is a premium bundle that combines the live feeds and program libraries of the company’s television networks and streaming brands, along with its own exclusive content.
As with most other streaming services, it’s available (in the US) on a variety of streaming devices and platforms, such as Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, Roku, YouTube TV and more.
Subscribers of AMC+ get early access to original series, such as AMC’s The Walking Dead franchise, with new episodes available up to a week before their cable television premieres.
In terms of global expansion, AMC+ has been making strides. After its launch in the US, the service was introduced in countries like Canada, Australia, India, and New Zealand, along with several European countries and Latin America.
Given the comprehensive content offering and global reach of AMC+, it’s plausible that it could serve as a potential replacement for the AMC Channel in the UK.
It’s worth mentioning that several high-profile AMC shows from this past year – such as The Walking Dead: Dead City spinoff – still don’t have a UK home.
However, as of now, no official announcements have been made regarding plans to bring AMC+ to the UK.
If AMC+ were to replace the AMC Channel at some point, it could provide viewers with a broader range of content and a more flexible viewing experience.
However, it will be yet another streaming service with a monthly subscription – and we certainly have plenty of those.
We’ve reached out to both BT and AMC Networks for official comment – and will update this article if they choose to respond.