Smaller Release Slate Undermines Starz Distribution31 Jul, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
A decline in new disc releases from The Weinstein Company contributed to Starz Distribution reporting a second-quarter (ended June 30) operating loss of $3.8 million, compared with net income of $14.6 million during the prior-year period.
Starz distributes proprietary and third-party titles on packaged media and electronically through its Anchor Bay Home Entertainment subsidiary.
Distribution revenue fell $96.9 million to $75.1 million, which included $38.1 million from home video. The latter posted sales of $126.4 million during the previous-year period. Indeed, home video revenue through the first half of the year plummeted 46% to $94.8 million, from $176.2 million last year.
Separately, investments in movies and TV programing from previously released Weinstein Co. titles increased $14.7 million to $40.9 million.
Meanwhile, Starz Networks, which operates the Starz, Encore and Movieplex pay-TV channels, saw operating income increase 4.6% to $121.8 million on revenue of $328 million. Operating income increased primarily due to subscriber rate increases and lower costs associated as a result of premiering one original series during the quarter, compared with two last year.
Starz original programming includes “Da Vinci's Demons,” which concluded its second season and has been renewed for a third, while “Power” was renewed for a second season. Starz releases original series “Outlander” Aug. 9.
“We are pleased with the Starz original programming schedule, which is gaining meaningful traction with audiences and our distributors,” CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement.