There is news today that Starz has renewed its distribution deal with DirecTV which is not exactly noteworthy information in itself; however, the details surrounding it exists as a prime example of cable content’s continued migration online for distribution through a variety of internet-based platforms. Starz will now allow DirecTV’s customers access to its Starz Online and Encore Online services–both of which are similar to HBO GO in that they each will provide a deep library of the networks’ past and present content beyond that of an on-demand channel. This of course will be accessible through smart television interfaces and mobile devices. Mobile is the ‘sexy’ term in the industry right now as it is a growing sector of entertainment consumption in both the film and movies industries, and even though big studios would prefer that everyone ‘stick to the living room’ things are progressing very quickly in the world of internet distribution rights.
It was not always this way. Just last year there were legal dust-ups when Time Warner and other cable companies started to jump the gun on such offerings without the consent of their business partners, but it now appears as if providers and media conglomerates have discovered that it is in their own best interests to get this thing going. Capitalistic competition is certainly in the driver’s seat as many young and low-income subscribers have been seeing Netflix as an alternative rather than a supplement to cable. Cord cutting remains a fear, and offering more content more easily on more devices is seen as the best way to combat this problem.
Read on for the full press release.
El Segundo, Calif. and Englewood, Colo. – April 16, 2012– Starz Entertainment, LLC, and DIRECTV, announced today that the companies have entered into a multi-platform distribution agreement extension. The new deal provides for DIRECTV to continue to offer the Starz Entertainment premium channels, HD, and on-demand services, and grants DIRECTV the rights to offer STARZ ONLINE and ENCORE ONLINE services on its DIRECTV Everywhere service, which is currently in beta, for its authenticated STARZSuper Pack subscribers. In addition, the agreement enables DIRECTV to launch MOVIEPLEX, INDIEPLEX, and RETROPLEX, and the related MOVIEPLEX ON DEMAND and MOVIEPLEX ONLINE service on DIRECTV Everywhere.
DIRECTV offers 15 STARZ and ENCORE channels, with eight in high definition for its STARZ Super Pack subscribers, in addition to the STARZ ON DEMAND and ENCORE ON DEMAND services. DIRECTV’s STARZ ON DEMAND and ENCORE ON DEMAND services – and STARZ ONLINE and ENCORE ONLINE on DIRECTV Everywhere – offer about 600 top movies, originals, and TV programming per month. The MOVIEPLEX on-demand and online services will add about an additional 200 titles once launched.
Financial terms and other deal specifics were not disclosed.
“We are pleased that the STARZ and ENCORE premium channels and service are a part of our DIRECTV Everywhere platform” said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV. “Providing our STARZ Super Pack subscribers with online access to their subscription content from Starz through DIRECTV Everywhere later this year will bring even more value to our customers.”
“DIRECTV and Starz have a long, symbiotic relationship going back to the early 1990s, and I am very pleased that we are able to extend and expand our existing business relationship,” said Ed Huguez, president of affiliate distribution for Starz Entertainment. “With great movies, ‘Spartacus,’ and ‘Magic City,’ the value proposition for subscribing to our multi-platform premium programming has never been better.”