×

Starz Expands Into Canada With Bell Media Pact

Starz is taking a big step in its plan to expand internationally, striking a deal with Bell Media to launch the first Starz-branded service in Canada.

Bell Media’s The Movie Network Encore is to be rebranded next year, likely with Starz in the moniker although Bell Media did not get specific. The channel will also be made available as a standalone app for streaming.

As part of the deal, Starz parent Lionsgate has also set a theatrical pay TV output deal with Bell Media covering future releases. Lionsgate’s existing movie output pact in Canada is with Entertainment One.

“We’re delighted to bring Starz to Canada as part of our international channel rollout,” said Starz president-CEO Chris Albrecht. “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. This agreement creates the perfect foundation for the growth of Starz in the territory.”

Bell Media is the parent of Canada’s CTV and also one of the nation’s largest radio broadcasters and cable programmers. Lionsgate film releases will air in the pay TV window on Bell Media’s French-language pay TV channel Super Ecran. Starz programs will also be featured on the company’s CraveTV streaming catch-up service.

“Bell Media is thrilled to be on board as Starz’s first international partner,” said Bell Media president Randy Lennox. “Starz is making waves with bold, fresh content that’s resonating with audiences around the world.”

Starz’s growing originals slate includes such series as “Power,” “The Girlfriend Experience,” “Outlander” and “American Gods.” It has two earthy new dramas, “Vida” and “Sweetbitter,” arriving in May.

Launching branded channels around the world with some muscle provided by Lionsgate, which bought out Starz in December 2016, could be transformative move for the company that would help cover the spiraling costs of high-priced programming.

Showtime struck a similar deal with Bell Media in 2015 for its first Canadian launch. CBS Corp.’s premium network has since spread its reach into France, the U.K., Italy, Germany and other overseas markets.

(Pictured: “Power”)

More TV

  • Netflix backed animated films “Klaus,” left,

    'Klaus,' 'I Lost My Body' Top 47th Annie Awards as Netflix Dominates

    Netflix dominated the 47th Annie Awards on Saturday, Jan. 25, picking up 19 trophies, including the top prizes of best feature (“Klaus”), best feature-independent (“I Lost My Body”), best TV/media production for preschool children (“Ask the Storybots”) and best general audience TV/media production (“BoJack Horseman”). Disney TV Animation’s “Disney Mickey Mouse” won best TV/media production [...]

  • 'SNL': Watch Adam Driver Deliver 'Star

    'SNL': Adam Driver Delivers 'Star Wars' 'Undercover Boss' Sequel (Watch)

    When Adam Driver hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2016 he went viral for a “Star Wars”/”Undercover Boss” mashup sketch that saw his Kylo Ren put on a disguise in order to observe his employees ala the CBS reality show. Four years later, he has done it again. While hosting the Jan. 26 episode of “SNL,” [...]

  • Hillary Clinton Hulu Documentary

    'Hillary': Clinton Docu-Series on Hulu TV Review

    As both Hillary Clinton and the team behind “Hillary” know very well, it’s nigh impossible at this point for someone to approach her with total objectivity. Throughout her life, Clinton has been a uniquely polarizing figure both in her own right and because of her marriage to former President Bill Clinton, himself a perpetual lightning [...]

  • Baldvin-Z

    Iceland’s Baldvin Z Crime Series “Black Sands” Added to All3Media Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden  All3Media is to handle international rights on Icelandic crime series “Black Sands” which, currently in development, is to be pitched at the Göteborg Festival’s TV Drama Vision confab on Thursday. “Black Sands” marks the first crime thriller to be created by Icelandic helmer Baldvin Z (“Trapped”) since the hit series “Case.” Commissioned by [...]

  • Justin Timberlake performs onstage during the

    Fox's Super Bowl Ad Time Was Sold Out. Until it Wasn't

    Fox declared in November that it had sold all the advertising time available in its looming February 2 broadcast of Super Bowl LIV. But just this week, it found a little more. After holding nearly two months’ worth of discussions, Fox and the National Football League have devised a way to add commercial inventory to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content