The global arm of AMC Networks is readying plans to launch the Sundance Channel in the UK.
Screen’s sister publication Broadcast understands that AMC/Sundance Channel Global is in carriage negotiations with pay-TV platforms including Sky, with a view to launching in 2015.
The plans follow parent firm AMC Networks’ $1bn (£600m) acquisition of Chellomedia, which operates around 40 channels around the world, last year.
The company is home to major global programme brands such as Mad Men and The Walking Dead.
Its channels include AMC, which aired Breaking Bad in the US, female-skewing WEtv and comedy network IFC. It has been keen to establish a presence in the UK for some time and a number of sources have told Broadcast that it has now selected the Sundance Channel as its first launch.
The drive is being led by Harold Gronenthal, executive vice-president of programming and operations at AMC/Sundance Channel Global, who has been responsible for launches across Asia and in France, Belgium, Poland and Hungary.
Sundance Channel, which was originally set up by actor Robert Redford in 1996, airs a mix of scripted and non-scripted programming, as well as indie films.
In the US, its non-scripted programming includes Dream School, a remake of Channel 4’s Jamie’s Dream School; Push Girls, a reality series about a group of strong, powerful disabled women; and TV-focused talk show The Writers’ Room.
It has increasingly moved into drama over the past few years, co-producing a slew of high-profile BBC series such as Top Of The Lake and The Honourable Woman.
The UK launch is expected to focus on film, non-scripted content, some US drama and a handful of local commissions, but AMC will have to acquire the UK rights to many of its own series.
Post-prison drama Rectify, for example, is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, while police drama The Red Road is distributed by Entertainment One as part of a wider, exclusive output deal between the two companies.
Sundance has been increasing its profile in the UK and Europe over the past couple of years, launching Sundance London, a UK version of the Sundance Film Festival, in 2012.
At a glance: Sundance BBC co-pros
Family drama from Complicit’s Guy Hibbert
The Honourable Woman
Maggie Gyllenhaal-fronted political thriller
Top Of The Lake
Jane Campion-directed thriller
Adaptation of William Boyd novel
US remake of Peter Moffat’s drama