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Bell takes Starz into Canada

Starz’s library includes drama Power

Lionsgate in the US and Bell Media in Canada have agreed a deal that will bring pay TV channel Starz to Canada next year.

The multi-year agreement between the two content companies will see Canuck pay TV network The Movie Network (TMN) Encore rebranded as Starz in early 2019.

It will mark the first international launch of Starz since Lionsgate acquired the network for US$4.4bn in December 2016, as well as the first time it will be available in Canada.

Starz content will be introduced across Bell Media platforms, including TMN Encore and Canada’s premium streaming service CraveTV, while the newly branded service will also be available on a direct-to-consumer basis.

Chris Albrecht

Starz’s library features more than 7,000 film and television titles, with original programming including Power and Girlfriend Experience as well as forthcoming series Vida and Sweetbitter.

“Bell Media is one of North America’s elite content companies and they bring great brand recognition, a massive consumer base and unparalleled distribution skills to our alliance,” said Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht.

Bell Media will also partner with Lionsgate on the distribution of its films in the future with first-window access to the studio’s slate of Hollywood movies.

All Lionsgate films will also be available to subscribers of Bell Media’s French-language pay TV service, Super Écran.

The deal was negotiated by Susan Hummel, Lionsgate’s executive VP and MD of worldwide TV sales, Canada, under the direction of Jim Packer, president of worldwide television and digital distribution; and Miles Delaney, senior VP of corporate development and strategy; Brad Worthington, Starz’s VP of corporate strategy and development; and Starz international executive Superna Kalle.

For Bell Media, the deal was negotiated by Jeff Hersh, VP of strategy and distribution, and Justin Stockman, VP of pay and OTT services, under the direction of Tracey Pearce, president, distribution and pay, and Bell’s president Randy Lennox.





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