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Starz: Home Entertainment Offsets Netflix Non-Renewal

6 Nov, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Starz LLC Nov. 6 reported third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) operating income of $99 million on revenue of $400 million. Income was down 2% from operating income of $101 million during the previous-year period, while revenue increased from $389 million.

Starz LLC, which is being spun off from parent Liberty Media Corp., includes Starz Entertainment, among other properties.

The revenue growth was primarily due to strong home video performance for Spartacus: Vengeance and strong home video and digital sales for AMC Networks’ “The Walking Dead,” among other titles.

“We look forward to distributing titles from the theatrical play of The Weinstein Co., including The Master, Silver Linings Playbook, Killing Them Softly and Django Unchained, which bode well for the Anchor Bay and Starz Digital businesses in 2013 and beyond,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said in a fiscal call with analysts.

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment distributes Starz packaged media retail releases.

Meanwhile, Starz and Encore subscriptions-based platforms increased memberships by 9% to 20.8 million and 5% to 34.3 million, respectively. Each channel was up 100,000 subscriptions in the quarter compared to the previous period.

Starz said revenue from the channels decreased $9 million in part to the non-renewal of a $30 million annual subscription VOD license agreement with Netflix, which ended in February.

Starz continues to emulate HBO and Showtime Network by launching TV Everywhere platforms Starz Play and Encore Play. Bowed first with Cox Communications, Starz is adding additional features, functionality and device support, in addition to Movieplex Play.

Starz Entertainment is also upping its exclusive content via Starz Originals and featuring new seasons of Spartacus: War of the Damned, “Da Vinci's Demons” and “Magic City,” in addition to new series “The White Queen.”

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