TV, not Web, first to get Starz content

Continuing to position itself for deployment of subscription video-on-demand services, Starz Encore Group has purchased a $5 million minority stake in VOD company Diva Systems Corp.

The privately held Redwood City, Calif.-based Diva provides VOD products and services to seven cable systems in the U.S. that allows consumers to subscribe to a group of channels for which they have VCR-like control, including pause, rewind, fast forward and anytime start.

Broadband plans

Starz Encore has been preparing to use the digital broadband environment to offer VOD of movies from its package of premium channels for a monthly subscription fee. Most of those talks have thus far centered on the Internet, but Diva offers a TV-centric solution.

Although Diva offers a VOD service and will work with Starz Encore to include the programmer’s content in that service, Diva is primarily selling the technology to cable operators.

Such an operator would not be obligated to deliver the Starz Encore programming if it buys the Diva technology, but it could do so.

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