Starz Release Michael Bay's 'Black Sails'

Premium cabler's sampling deals for pirate series spans pay-TV, online and mobile platforms

Starz promotional efforts for Michael Bay’s pirate drama “Black Sails” include deals with traditional pay-TV providers as well as Apple, Amazon.com, Microsoft Xbox and Machinima — all of which will offer the first full-length episode for free on Jan. 18, one week before premiering on Starz.

Starz will offer the first episode on its VOD service, Starz.com, the Starz YouTube channel and on its Facebook page. The segment will also be available on Amazon Instant Video along with additional featurettes, as well as iTunes, Xbox Video and Maxim magazine’s website. Cable and satellite partners prepped to offer “Black Sails” for free across multiple platforms include Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Charter Communications.

SEE ALSO: Michael Bay on New Starz Series: ‘I Thought It Was a Pipe Dream’

The pact with Machinima, a YouTube multichannel network aims toward a young male audience with sci-fi and gamer fare, is the first for Starz. Machinima has already been distributing “Black Sails” videos, trailers and featurettes and the MCN plans to roll out more content for the Bay adventure series on its Machinima Prime channel.

“Black Sails” is executive produced by Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (“The Purge,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”). Showrunner and exec producer Jonathan Steinberg is the creator of “Jericho” and “Human Target.”

Series centers on Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his crew, taking place 20 years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island.” Starz has already picked up the series for a second season, which has begun production in Cape Town, South Africa.

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