Dec 10 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'BB-' issue-level and '4' recovery rating to New York City -based cable network operator AMC Network Inc.'s proposed $600 million of senior unsecured notes due 2022. The '4' recovery rating indicates our expectation of average (30%-50%) recovery for noteholders in the event of a hypothetical payment default. Proceeds are to be used to refinance the company's term loan B ($578 million outstanding). All other ratings, including the 'BB-' corporate credit rating, are unaffected by this transaction. We will withdraw our ratings on the term loan B when the transaction closes. As a result of the transaction, we expect adjusted leverage to increase slightly to 4.9x from 4.8x and that interest coverage will decline to about 4.4x from 4.7x. Our rating on AMC reflects the company's "fair" business risk profile and "aggressive" financial risk profile, according to our criteria. Our business risk assessment is based on the company's limited cable network portfolio, as it depends disproportionately on a single network, the AMC Network, for the majority of its revenue and cash flow. Additional key considerations are its limited international success thus far, limited prospects for near-term improvement in these trends; and the trend of declining cable network audience ratings across the cable network sector (though AMC has gone against this trend in the last few years). We view AMC's management and governance as "fair." The company's stable affiliate fees somewhat mitigate these risks. Our financial risk assessment reflects the company's meaningful lease-adjusted leverage, which was 4.9x, pro forma for the November 2012 $50 million prepayment of its term loan and this transaction. We expect leverage to improve to the low-4x area by the end of 2013. RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH -- Business Risk/Financial Risk Matrix Expanded, Sept. 18, 2012 -- Liquidity Descriptors For Global Corporate Issuers, Sept. 28, 2011 -- Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks, Sept. 14, 2009 -- Criteria Guidelines For Recovery Ratings, Aug. 10, 2009 -- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Analytical Methodology, April 15, 2008 RATINGS LIST AMC Networks Inc. Corporate credit rating BB-/Stable/-- Rating Assigned $600 mil. Sr. unsec. notes due 2022 BB- Recovery rating 4 Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left column.