Starz to add Internet only service


Rivaling the HBO Go service, Starz, the premium pay-TV network owned by Liberty Media, will unveil an online version of its TV and movie channel for its cable and satellite subscribers in 2012, CEO Chris Albrecht said on 11/17 at the Liberty Media investor day.

Albrecht said the company would also be exploring possibilities of a stand-alone online service for Internet subscribers. This, after Albrecht, a former HBO exec, decided against signing a new deal with Netflix. The two sides failed to reach an agreement because Starz, the exclusive TV and video first-run distributor of Walt Disney and Sony Pictures releases, had wanted to have a premium tier in the Netflix package, similar to what it has on cable television.

It already has 52 million subscribers to video services from cable, satellite and phone distributors. A Starz-authenticated online service for traditional cable subscribers would help reduce customer losses, increase availability beyond the home and attract younger subscribers, Albrecht explained.

Time Warner’s HBO rolled out HBO Go, an online service for cable subscribers last year.