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Seeing Starz

21 Oct, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

The new Starz Media is a company with plenty of resources for filmmakers and original content, executives say.

“We have the nimbleness and the entrepreneurial spirit of an indie, but we are also a part of a very established company,” said Bill Clark, EVP and GM of the newly dubbed Starz Home Entertainment.

In April, Liberty Media Corp, Starz Entertainment parent company, bought IDT Entertainment, renamed it Starz Media and in August, merged it with premium television company Starz Entertainment. Under Starz Media is Starz Home Entertainment, which has Anchor Bay Entertainment and Manga Entertainment. Being integrated under Starz Media allows the company to release product in the theatrical, cable, digital and home entertainment markets, he said.

However, Starz Home Entertainment won't necessarily release more titles, compared to Anchor Bay's past schedule, he said. But it will continue to take on the rental market in a way Anchor Bay previously had eschewed — a plan in the works since before the merger. Last month, the company announced a new sales team with a focus on opening channels to rental dealers. That strategy could boost acquisitions as the company looks for product to push into the rental channel.

Starz Internet Video On Demand service Vongo helps open up the digital world to the content too, Clark said.

Starz looks at its new home entertainment distribution division as a potential channel for upcoming original content the cabler is creating. Last month, Starz announced plans to create three original series that will run on the cable channel: “Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Stand-Up,” “Bronx Bunny” and “Head Case.”

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