×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content