Starz

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For the UK music video channel, see Starz TV. For other uses, see Starz (disambiguation).
Starz
Starz 2008.svg
Current logo, used since April 7, 2008.
Launched February 1, 1994 (1994-02-01)
Owned by Starz Inc.
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Slogan Taking You Places
Country United States
Language English
Spanish (via SAP audio track; some films may be broadcast in their native language and subtitled into English)
Broadcast area Nationwide
Headquarters Meridian, Colorado
Formerly called Starz! (1994–2005)
Sister channel(s) Encore,
MoviePlex
Timeshift service Starz East, Starz West,
Starz Cinema East,
Starz Cinema West,
Starz Comedy East,
Starz Comedy West,
Starz Edge East,
Starz Edge West,
Starz Kids & Family East,
Starz Kids & Family West,
Starz InBlack East,
Starz InBlack West
Website www.starz.com
www.starzplay.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 525 Starz Kids & Family (HD)
526 Starz Comedy (HD)
527 Starz (East; SD/HD)
528 Starz (West; SD/HD)
529 Starz Edge (SD/HD)
530 Starz InBlack (SD/HD)
531 Starz Cinema (HD)
1527 Starz On Demand
Dish Network 350 Starz (East; SD/HD)
351 Starz (West; SD/HD)
352 Starz Edge (SD/HD)
353 Starz Cinema
354 Starz Comedy (SD/HD)
355 Starz InBlack
356 Starz Kids & Family (SD/HD)
Cable
Available on most U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channel availability
IPTV
AT&T U-verse 902 Starz (east)
903 Starz (west)
904 Starz Edge
906 Starz InBlack
908 Starz Cinema
910 Starz Comedy
912 Starz Kids & Family
Verizon FIOS 340–347 (SD)
855 (HD)

Starz (originally stylized as Starz! from 1994 to 2005,[1] and presently as starz since March 2005[2]) is an American premium cable and satellite television network that serves as the flagship service of Starz Inc.. Starz is considered to be the company's flagship channel, even though co-owned premium channel Encore was launched in 1991, pre-dating the existence of Starz by three years. Starz's programming features mainly theatrically released motion pictures, along with some first-run original television series.

The headquarters of Starz and its sister networks Encore and MoviePlex are located at the Meridian International Business Center complex in Meridian, Colorado.[3] As of August 2013, Starz's programming is available to approximately 29,141,000 television households (25.52% of cable, satellite and telco customers) in the United States (28,436,000 subscribers or 24.90% of all households with pay television service receive at least Starz's primary channel).[4]

History[edit]

Starz! launched at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on February 1, 1994, primarily on cable systems operated by Tele-Communications, Inc.; the first two movies ever aired on the network were both dramas released in 1992: respectively, Scent of a Woman[5] and The Crying Game. Starz was originally operated as a joint venture between TCI and Liberty Media (both companies were controlled by John Malone), with TCI owning a 50.1% controlling interest in the channel.[6] The network originally debuted as part of a seven-channel thematic multiplex that was launched by Encore; this multiplex originally was intended to only include six channels, however a deal struck in 1993 in which Encore acquired the pay cable rights to telecast recent feature films from Universal Pictures released after that year resulted in the network choosing to create an additional service to compete with HBO and Showtime.[7] Starz! originally carried the moniker "Encore 8" in its on-air branding as part of a numbering system that was initially used by Encore's multiplex channels, however Starz! chronologically was the first of the seven channels to make its debut, the other six eventually launched between July and September 1994.[7][8][9]

The network focused more on recent feature films than its sister network Encore did at the time, as that network focused on films released between the 1960s and the 1980s (it would eventually add recent film fare as well in July 1999). Besides obtaining rights to films released by Universal Pictures, Starz! also initially had television rights to releases from Carolco Pictures, Fine Line Features and its sibling studio New Line Cinema, and Disney-owned Miramax, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures (although films from those studios did not begin to be carried on Starz until 1997, after the studio's output agreement with Showtime concluded). The network also restricted the scheduling of films that contained graphic sexual or violent content to late evening and overnight time periods.[10]

Starz!'s cable carriage was mainly limited to TCI's systems at launch, although it would gain its first major carriage agreement with a provider other than TCI, when it signed a deal with Continental Cablevision in September 1995.[11] It gained further ground when Comcast signed a deal to carry the network in 1997 on its Pennsylvania and New Jersey systems to replace Philadelphia-based PRISM after that network shut down.[12] The network eventually gained carriage on most other major U.S. cable and satellite providers by the early 2000s, particularly with the adoption of digital cable. Starz! was available to an estimated 2.8 million pay television subscribers by 1996, only one million of whom had subscribed to a cable or satellite provider other than TCI.[13]

As a startup network, Starz! endured major profit losses during its early years, with total deficits topping $203 million and annual revenue losses of $150 million by 1997, it was also predicted to lose an additional estimated $300 million in revenue before its cash flow was predicted to break even.[14] Partly in an effort to get the network's substantial monetary losses off its financial books, TCI announced a deal on June 2, 1997, in which it transferred majority ownership of the corporate entity that operated Starz, Encore Media Group, to sister company Liberty Media – TCI initially retained a 20% minority ownership interest in Encore Media Group, though Liberty Media would assume the former company's stake in the subsidiary in 1999, following TCI's merger with AT&T Corporation.[6][15]

By May 1998, Starz! maintained a subscriber base of 7.6 million homes that had cable or satellite television.[16] Encore Media Group was later renamed the Starz Encore Media Group in 2000 (and then to Starz Entertainment in 2005).[17] As part of a restructuring plan for the company in 2003, Starz Encore Group announced the elimination of 100 jobs within its nine regional offices and closed four of the offices that were in operation at the time.[18] On November 19, 2009, Liberty Media spun off Starz and Encore into a separate public tracking stock called Liberty Starz.[19] On January 1, 2010, Chris Albrecht (who formerly served as president of HBO from 2002 until his 2007 firing after Albrecht was arrested for assault[20]) joined Starz, LLC as its president and chief executive officer, to oversee all of the Starz entities (including Starz Entertainment, Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment and Film Roman).[21] On August 8, 2012, Liberty Media announced that it would spin off the Liberty Starz subsidiary into a separate publicly traded company.[22] The spin-off of the subsidiary was completed on January 11, 2013, with Liberty Starz changing its name to Starz Inc. as a result.[23][24]

Channels[edit]

List of channels[edit]

Depending on the service provider, Starz provides up to twelve multiplex channels – six 24-hour multiplex channels, all of which are simulcast in both standard definition and high definition – as well as a subscription video-on-demand service (Starz On Demand). Starz broadcasts its primary and multiplex channels on both Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules. The respective coastal feeds of each channel are usually packaged together (though most cable providers only offer the east and west coast feeds of the main Starz channel), resulting in the difference in local airtimes for a particular movie or program between two geographic locations being three hours at most.

The premium film services Encore and MoviePlex, which are also owned by Starz, Inc., operate as separate services – and subscribers to one do not necessarily have to subscribe to any of the others, some providers offer Encore and MoviePlex's multiplex channels on a separate digital cable tier from Starz. However, Encore and, depending on its carriage, MoviePlex are frequently sold together in a package with Starz.

Channel Description and programming
Starz 2008.svg
Starz
The flagship channel; Starz features hit movies and first-run films from Hollywood blockbusters to independent films and international pictures. The main Starz channel commonly premieres recent theatrically released hit movies – debuting on the channel within a lag of between eight months to one year on average from their initial theatrical release – on most Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET, as part of a weekly feature film block called the "Starz Friday Premiere" (originally airing on Saturday nights until 2013, and known as "Starz Saturday Opening Night" until 2002 and "Starz Saturday Premiere" from 2002 to 2013). The channel also airs some original series, with newer episodes airing primarily on Saturday nights.

Starz Cinema
This channel serves as the destination for movies with enduring themes, films outside the mainstream cinema and arthouse films; Starz Cinema launched in 1999.

Starz Comedy
This channel focuses on lighthearted films of varying comedic genres from slapstick to romantic comedies to dramedies. Starz Comedy took over the channel space of Starz! Kids on March 25, 2005; the channel was originally slated to launch as a separate multiplex channel in 2002, but plans were postponed for unknown reasons.[25]

Starz Edge
This channel features films for the "new generation", aimed at the 18 to 34-year-old demographic of young adults. Originally launching in 1996 as Starz! 2, it was rebranded as Starz! Theater from 1999 until March 25, 2005; in its previous incarnations, the channel's format incorporated a limited selection of films scheduled in a format mirroring the showtime scheduling used by movie theaters.

Starz InBlack
Starz InBlack is a multiplex channel that is dedicated to showcasing the best in black cinema and urban entertainment; including first-run hits, classical films, Pan-African films and original productions. Launched in 1997 as a joint venture with BET, Starz InBlack was previously known as BET Movies: Starz! (3) until 2001, when BET opted out of the venture during its purchase by Viacom (then-owner of rival premium service Showtime), and was then renamed Black Starz! from 2001 to 2005.

Starz Kids & Family
This network features commercial-free family movies (from action and adventure movies to comedies to family treasures), along with some animated and imported live-action children's series. The network features two program blocks: "Building Blocks", a weekday morning block of animated series (primarily imported from Canada) and "Six Block", a weekday evening block of imported live-action series aimed at a pre-teen audience. This network was launched on March 25, 2005, and was created out of a merger of two separate services, Starz! Family (which launched in 1999) and Starz! Kids (which launched in 2003, over the channel space now occupied by Starz Comedy). Unlike Encore Family (which replaced Encore Wam in August 2011), Starz Kids & Family still features some PG-13 rated films within its schedule, in addition to G- and PG-rated films. Due to its family-targeted format, the network broadcasts no R-rated movies or TV-MA rated programming, and only broadcasts programs that are rated G, PG or PG-13 (or the equivalent TV-G, TV-PG or TV-14).

Despite being a premium service, cable providers have occasionally used Starz Kids & Family (and its predecessor, Starz Family) to temporarily replace television stations dropped due to carriage disputes such as during Journal Broadcast Group's 2013 dispute with Time Warner Cable that resulted in TWC's systems in certain markets substituting other stations (such as the Local AccuWeather Channel- and Live Well Network-affiliated digital subchannels of Milwaukee, Wisconsin's WTMJ-TV) with the channel,[26] and a January 2000 dispute between Cox Communications and Fox Television Stations, which resulted in Starz! Family replacing Fox owned-and-operated stations in six markets.[27]

Background[edit]

In 1994, Encore launched the pay television industry's first "themed" multiplex service – seven additional movie channels that each focused on a specific genre. This was initially intended to be six channels, but Encore decided to launch Starz as a competitor to HBO and Showtime, after it acquired the pay television rights to broadcast films by Universal Studios released after 1993.[7] A numbering system was used for each service to identify itself as an Encore channel, though this system was eventually abandoned for most of the channels in 1996, with the tagline "an encore network" being used from then on until the early 2000s. Starz retained the "Encore 8" branding in its main IDs and feature presentation bumpers until 2002, even as it transitioned into a separate channel from Encore.

The continued tie branding-wise to Encore was particularly interesting as Starz would be given its own slate of multiplex channels in the late 1990s. The first of these to debut was Starz! 2 in 1996, featuring a format of running four different movies scheduled at the same times daily (inspired by the scheduling used by movie theaters) with the film schedule changing each Friday.[28] This was followed in 1997 by the debut of a joint venture with BET called BET Movies: Starz! 3.[29] Two additional multiplex channels began operations in May 1999: the first being Starz! Family, which carried family-oriented theatrical and home video film releases (this channel was launched possibly in response to HBO's own family-oriented multiplex channel called HBO Family, which debuted three years earlier), the other service was Starz! Cinema, a channel featuring critically acclaimed independent films and movies outside of the mainstream cinema.[30][31] Starz! 2 was also renamed Starz! Theater to better reflect its format.

The first changes made following the original rollout of the multiplex occurred in 2001, with the rebranding of BET Movies: Starz! into Black Starz! after BET opted out of the venture during its acquisition by Viacom (which owned rival pay service Showtime at the time) in 2001.[32] A seventh Starz multiplex channel launched in 2004, Starz! Kids was created as a movie service featuring films aimed at children between 2 and 11 years of age, maintaining a format similar to that of Starz! Family.[33] Unlike the other Starz multiplex channels, Starz! Kids launched on cable systems on a case-by-case basis instead of on a broader national scale.

The entire multiplex was overhauled on March 28, 2005, as part of an extensive rebranding of the Starz and Encore services. While Encore debuted a slightly modified logo and applied the "Encore" brand to the names of its six multiplex channels, Starz underwent a more dramatic makeover, opting for a completely redesigned logo – which included the exclamation mark being dropped from the channel's name – and a standardized graphics package that was implemented across all of its channels (with some modifications for each channel's format).[34][35] The programming formats of several channels changed entirely: Starz! Theater was relaunched as Starz Edge, a movie channel aimed primarily at men 18 to 34 years old (nicknamed "The New Generation" by the channel). Starz! Kids and Starz! Family were combined into a single channel called Starz Kids and Family, to make room for a new channel focusing on comedic feature films called Starz Comedy. Black Starz! also changed its name to Starz InBlack. The only multiplex channel (other than the primary feed) to retain its original name was Starz Cinema.[36]

The Starz multiplex has been marketed under several names over the years including the "Starz Encore Super Pak" and the "Starz Super Pak".[37] The multiplex now has no "official" marketed name as of 2014.

Other services[edit]

Starz HD[edit]

Starz HD is a high definition simulcast feed of Starz that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format. In addition to its main channel, Starz also operates high definition simulcast feeds of its five multiplex channels. When it launched in December 2003, the simulcast originally covered only the east and west coast feeds of the main Starz channel. An enhanced definition simulcast feed and a separate HD channel called Sharper Movies HD, that would have broadcast in the 1080i format and be structured similarly to the original format of sister channel Encore's MoviePlex (in which Sharper Movies would broadcast programming from each Starz channel), were also planned; but plans for the latter service were later scrapped due to minimal interest from providers to charge a premium fee for the network.[38][39] HD feeds of Starz Kids and Family, Starz Comedy and Starz Edge, followed in 2007.[40]

The remaining Starz multiplex channels, Starz Cinema and Starz In Black, launched their HD simulcast feeds on June 23, 2010, with DirecTV becoming the first provider to offer all six channels (including both coastal feeds of the primary Starz channel) in HD.[41] Among others, Starz HD is currently carried nationally by satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network and regionally by Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision and Charter Communications.

Starz On Demand[edit]

Starz operates a video-on-demand television service called Starz On Demand, which is available at no additional charge to new and existing Starz subscribers. The service launched on September 19, 2001, initially debuting on Adelphia Cable's Cleveland, Ohio system.[42][43] The service has the unique characteristic of offering early premieres of feature films that are scheduled to premiere on Starz, up to one month prior to their pay cable debut on the primary linear channel. Starz on Demand's rotating program selection incorporates select new titles that are added each Friday, alongside existing program titles held over from the previous one to two weeks. Incidentally, the Starz On Demand name was also used for an online broadband streaming movie service operated by Starz and RealNetworks from 2003 to 2004.[44] In March 2011, Starz On Demand launched a third VOD service (in addition to its standard definition and high definition VOD services), offering movies presented in 3D to customers of Comcast and Verizon FiOS at no additional charge.[45]

Starz Play[edit]

Starz Play is a website and mobile app that features original programming and feature film content from Starz available for streaming in standard or high definition. It is available to Starz subscribers of Verizon FIOS,[46] AT&T U-verse,[47] Cox Communications,[48] Xfinity by Comcast and DirecTV.[49] The current incarnation of the Starz Play online service (which is structured as a TV Everywhere-style service) first launched on October 8, 2012, along with the release of the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch app.[50]

The Starz Play name was borrowed from a prior service offered in conjunction with Netflix, that was created in 2008 after the subscription streaming service struck an agreement with Starz Entertainment to allow Netflix to sub-license rights to films from distributors that maintain output deals with the linear Starz channel for online viewing – in lieu of acquiring the digital distribution rights on its own, due to the expense of acquiring newer film titles – as Netflix is considered to be merely a "content aggregator". Because Netflix chose to sub-license digital rights through Starz instead of negotiating with the studios outright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures threatened not to renew its output deal with Starz unless it either discontinued its deal with Netflix or paid Disney a licensing fee for digital streaming rights to its films (in an irony, Netflix will assume rights to most film releases by Walt Disney Studios from Starz in 2016).[51][52]

StarzPlay (as a Netflix service) was first made available to Starz subscribers of the Verizon FiOS television service,[53] with Starz content (including most of its original programming and series content that the channel acquired through domestic and international distributors) made available on Netflix's "Watch Instantly" platform; it was the third subscription video-on-demand online streaming service operated by Starz: Starz Ticket operated from 2004 to 2006, under a joint venture between Starz Entertainment and RealNetworks.[54] From 2006[55] until it discontinued the service on September 30, 2008, Starz offered its own separate online movie service, Vongo to its subscribers.

On September 1, 2011, Starz announced that it would not renew its streaming agreement with Netflix, which ended on February 28, 2012; movie titles that are available on DVD from Sony Pictures, Disney and other studios that maintain pay television distribution deals with Starz were not affected and can be acquired from Netflix by this method.[56] With the expiration of the Netflix deal, film content from studios that Starz maintains broadcast rights with no longer became available for online streaming, particularly as Netflix and certain similar services such as Vudu do not have separate streaming rights to films from these individual studios; prior to the beta launch of its Starz Online service (which would later adopt the Starz Play name upon its official launch), Starz announced in November 2011 that a streaming application would be developed for mobile devices, which would allow the network's subscribers – and possibly non-subscription television subscribers as well – to view Starz's series and film content.[57] The app was released on October 9, 2012 for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and on May 7, 2013 for Android devices.[58][59]

Programming[edit]

Movie library[edit]

As of August 2013, Starz – and sister networks Encore and MoviePlex – maintains exclusive first-run film licensing agreements with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures since 1994 (including content from subsidiaries Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature, and Touchstone Pictures since 1997),[60][61][62] Sony Pictures Entertainment since January 2005 (including content from subsidiaries Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Screen Gems, Destination Films, Triumph Films and TriStar Pictures),[63][64] Anchor Bay Entertainment and Warren Miller Films since 1997.[65]

The first-run film output agreement with Walt Disney Pictures expires after December 2015, at which time the Netflix streaming service will assume pay television rights in January 2016 (excluding films released by Touchstone Pictures, which will be retained by Starz through a separate contract).[51][66][67] The first-run film output agreement with Sony was renewed for nine years on February 11, 2013;[68][69] the Warren Miller output deal was renewed for ten years on October 19, 2009.[70]

Starz also shows sub-runs – runs of films that have already received broadcast or syndicated television airings – of theatrical films from Warner Bros. Entertainment (including content from subsidiaries New Line Cinema, Turner Entertainment [both for films released prior to 2005], and Castle Rock Entertainment), Universal Studios (including content from subsidiaries Universal Animation Studios and Focus Features, all for films released prior to 2003), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (including content from subsidiaries United Artists, Orion Pictures, and The Samuel Goldwyn Company), Miramax Films (for films released prior to 2009), 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Revolution Studios,[71] Overture Films,[72] Yari Film Group[73] and Lions Gate Entertainment.

Films that Starz has pay-cable rights will usually also run on Encore and MoviePlex during the duration of its term of licensing. From 1995 to 2002, Starz had broadcast occasional original made-for-pay cable movies produced by the in-house company Starz! Pictures.[74][75]

In January 1997, Starz secured a licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures, broadcasting over 300 titles. Paramount's first contract with Starz expired in January 2006.[76] In April 2013, Starz reassumed sub-run rights to Paramount Pictures' feature film releases. Films that were initially broadcast through this deal included Dear God, All I Want for Christmas and Boomerang.[77][78][79]

Future licensing agreements[edit]

On February 2, 2012, Starz announced that it entered into a multi-year film licensing agreement with Lions Gate Entertainment, that will bring the studio's library of over 500 films to the channel; films released by Lions Gate that Epix (which Lions Gate Entertainment jointly owns) currently or will have future television rights to will also move to Starz after their term of license for broadcast on Epix concludes.[80]

Former first-run contracts[edit]

At the time of its launch, Starz had secured exclusive first-run movie rights with Universal Studios, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax, New Line Cinema and Carolco Pictures.[81] Between 1995 and 2005, Starz had also broadcast films from Turner Pictures and New Line Cinema.[82] Starz's contract with Universal Studios expired in late 2002, with HBO and Starz sharing half of Universal's films during the 2003 calendar year before the former service assumed pay television rights in 2004.[83][84]

Television series[edit]

Original programming[edit]

Starz expanded its program offerings to include some original television series by the late 1990s with entertainment news programs and shows that focused on the making of upcoming or current feature films (such as Starz Movie News and Hollywood One on One); some of these programs were shared with Encore. In 2005, Starz began expanding its original programming slate in order to compete with rivals Showtime and HBO, with the inclusion of scripted series.[85] Some of the initial series (such as Kung Faux, The Bronx Bunny Show and Head Case) maintained running times considered unconventional for a live-action series, usually running under 15 minutes in length;[86] half-hour and hour-long series were eventually incorporated on the schedule by 2010 (including shows such as Torchwood: Miracle Day, Boss and Da Vinci's Demons).

The number of original series that debuted each year on Starz has varied, reaching a high of four series during the 2011 calendar year.[87] Spartacus has been the most popular of the network's series to date and has the distinction of being the only Starz original scripted program to have lasted longer than two seasons. In 2013, Starz gave a series order to Outlander, a drama based on the series of fantasy/romance/adventure books by Diana Gabaldon. The project, from Battlestar Galactica developer Ron Moore and Sony Pictures Television, has received a 16-episode order, with production slated to begin in October 2013, in Scotland where the books are set.[88]

Acquired programming[edit]

Multiplex channel Starz Kids & Family also features some series programming, which are aimed at young children and pre-teens. That channel currently runs two program blocks: "Building Blocks", a block airing on Monday through Saturday mornings that features animated series (such as Dragon Hunters, Gawayn, Zombie Hotel, Savage Family Wild and Matt's Monsters) and the "Six Block" (which was previously named "Camp Block"[89] from its launch in March 2011 until the two-hour block was moved from mid-afternoon slots varying on the movie schedule to a set timeslot of 6 p.m. ET in January 2012), a teen-focused block airing weekday evenings before primetime that features mainly imported series from English-speaking countries outside of the United States like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom (such as Wingin' It, Majority Rules and Sadie J[90]). The two blocks are similar to those seen on sister channel Encore's multiplex channel Encore Wam between 1994 and 2009.

Other ventures[edit]

Starz Entertainment has expanded considerably with the presence of its Starz and Encore family of multiplex networks, as well as ventures into television and film production and home video distribution.

  • In 1999, Starz launched the in-house company Starz Pictures, a production company that produced made-for-cable films for the Starz channel;[91] Starz Pictures' only major film project was the 2002 telefilm Joe and Max. Starz Pictures shut down that same year.[92]
  • In November 2006, Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett launched Overture Films, an independent movie studio that Liberty Media operated out of the Starz Entertainment division of the company;[93] in October 2010, after a proposed sale of the company failed to materialize when no buyers were found, the studio was shut down with its marketing and distribution operations handed over to Relativity Media, Overture's small library of less than 20 films will continue to be distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment for DVD release and by Starz for television broadcast.[94]
  • In 2007, Starz Entertainment purchased IDT Corporation, which was renamed Starz Media.[95][96] As a result of the purchase, Starz acquired IDT subsidiaries Anchor Bay Entertainment, Digital Production Solutions (DPS), and New Arc Entertainment. The Weinstein Company, a film studio run by former Miramax heads Bob and Harvey Weinstein, purchased a 25% stake in Starz Media (but not the Starz parent company) on January 4, 2011, with Anchor Bay entering into a multi-year domestic distribution agreement of theatrical feature films released by The Weinstein Company and its Dimension Films subsidiary.[97]
  • As part of IDT Corporation's purchase by Starz, Starz Entertainment also acquired two animation studios: Toronto-based IDT animation studio (formerly DKP Studios), which was renamed Starz Animation,[98] and Manga Entertainment, an international distributor of Japanese animation. A third animation studio that was also acquired due to the IDT purchase, Film Roman, was sold in October 2010 to a production company owned by a group of investors led by former Film Roman studio president Scott Greenberg called Bento Box Entertainment.[99]

Branding[edit]

Starz's logo has incorporated a star in some form since its launch. In the original logo that was used from 1994 to 2005, the star was composed of a larger star and a smaller star silhouette embedded within the larger one, the "STARZ!" typeface in the network's logo was styled after 1930s-era movie poster typography. The original on-air graphics featured a CGI movie theater, with the main network ID featuring seats that opened by themselves, various theater imagery and even images resembling the Caduceus.[100] Starz! also heavily included the "Encore 8" moniker in its graphics, even after Encore discontinued the numbering system for its channels in favor of using "an encore network" (a branding that Starz! also used, though sparingly) in 1997. The feature presentation bumpers also heavily used the movie theater themes (using spotlights and film canisters) and the "Encore 8" branding; this look was ultimately abandoned in May 2002. In 2002, Starz! introduced the "InfoBar", a banner that appears on the bottom third of the screen during promotional breaks and during the end credits of movies seen on the channel, originally purposed to promote upcoming programs. That same year, Starz! modified its on-air branding, changing from the "theater" look that had been used since the network's launch to a look based around natural themes (particularly water), Starz! also introduced a seven-note fanfare as a musical motif;[101] the new look did not carry over to the multiplex channels.

This logo was abandoned for an abstract star shooting upwards with the text portion in Helvetica Neue font in March 2005 as part of a major rebrand of the network[34] that included a standardized graphics package with modifications for each multiplex channel, the fanfare from the previous graphics package was also reorchestrated. The "InfoBar" was restructured to promote events on the other Starz networks and to display entertainment news content supplied by Variety (a similar version of the InfoBar was adopted for Encore's networks, and is still in use today). That year, Starz began branding its feature film content with an opaque logo bug appearing on the lower-right corner of the screen for two minutes each half-hour; the addition of the on-screen logos was cited by former Starz president Tom Southwick due to a large number of subscribers not knowing which of the channels they were watching when they tuned in, particularly if started viewing one of the channels after the start of a film.

The current logo was introduced in April 2008, with lowercase "starz" typing featuring a starburst inserted between the "a" and "r"; the coloring of the logo was modified to a gold rendering in April 2011. The channel replaced the opaque on-screen logos with a bright white logo bug on all channels and a bright orange bug for Starz Kids & Family's HD simulcast feed in July 2011. After the current logo's introduction, the "InfoBar" began to once again serve only to promote programming on the main Starz channel, while it serves mainly as a network ID on some of its multiplex channels.

Network slogans[edit]

  • Only on Starz and No Other Movie Channel (1994–1997)[102]
  • Starz! – Big Movies and More (1995–1998)
  • 100% Movies (1998–1999)
  • Movies, Movies, New Hit Movies (1999–2000)
  • #1 in New Hit Movies (2000–2004)
  • An Influx Of Movies – Only on Starz (2004–2008)
  • Are You Ready? (2008–2012)[103]
  • Taking You Places (2012–present)
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See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ STARZ! SCHEDULE: MARCH, 2005
  2. ^ Starz Schedule: April, 2005
  3. ^ Colorado Gov. Bill Owens Helps Starz Encore Group Dedicate New Headquarters In Meridian Office Park South of Denver
  4. ^ Seidman, Robert (August 23, 2013). "List of How Many Homes Each Cable Networks Is In - Cable Network Coverage Estimates As Of August 2013". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Starz!, New Premium Channel, Launches Tonight with Unprecedented Support from Major Hollywood Studios, Press Release (via HighBeam Research), February 1, 1994. Retrieved February 24, 2011, from HighBeam Research.
  6. ^ a b Higgins, John M. "TCI shuffling Starz!: will move it onto Liberty Media to shield MSO from channel's ongoing losses", Broadcasting & Cable. May 19, 1997. HighBeam Research. (March 11, 2013).
  7. ^ a b c "Encore Media Corp. signed a deal with Universal film studios that will allow Encore to launch its own movie service as its seventh multiplexed channel.", Broadcasting & Cable. May 31, 1993. HighBeam Research. (February 23, 2011).
  8. ^ "Encore to spin off channels early", Broadcasting & Cable, December 6, 1993. Retrieved February 24, 2011, from HighBeam Research.
  9. ^ ENCORE CELEBRATES THE EXPANSION OF SIX MULTIPLEX CHANNELS BY HONORING FILM GREATS, The Free Library. June 29, 1994.
  10. ^ Mitchell, Kim. "TCI details Starz! rollout plans; Tele-Communications Inc. to launch Starz! premium pay service", Multichannel News, January 31, 1994. Retrieved February 24, 2011, from HighBeam Research.
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External links[edit]