– Pay TV channel Encore rebrands as STARZ on March 1, becoming the exclusive home of all new STARZ original programming –
– STARZ becomes available directly to consumers as an add-on to Crave the following week –
TORONTO, Feb. 7, 2019 /CNW/ - Bell Media and STARZ announced today the launch of a new STARZ channel and streaming service in Canada beginning Friday, March 1. STARZ, the United States' second most-watched pay television service, delivers immersive, premium content, including critical favourites VIDA and COUNTERPART, and the hit drama SWEETBITTER. The announcement comes as Crave confirms its subscriber base has grown to 2.3 million.
Boasting a growing slate of obsessable programs, upcoming STARZ originals include the surreal coming-of-age comedy series NOW APOCALYPSE (March 10) from Gregg Araki and Steven Soderbergh; the highly anticipated, female-led, spy thriller, THE ROOK (2019), starring Emma Greenwell and Olivia Munn; and the recently greenlit series HIGHTOWN and P-VALLEY.
Back seasons of outstanding fan-favourites include BLACK SAILS; the cult-hit comedy PARTY DOWN; the critically-acclaimed limited series THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE; and the hit series POWER, which currently ranks as the second highest rated premium scripted series this year in the U.S. among A18-49 and A25-54, with an average viewership of over 10 million.
On March 1, pay television network Encore rebrands as STARZ across two linear channels and on demand platforms via participating television providers. The following week, STARZ becomes available directly to all Canadians with access to the internet as an add-on to Crave for an additional $5.99/month. The STARZ streaming service can be accessed via Crave.ca, the Crave app on iOS and Android, and Apple TV Generation 4, with additional platforms rolling out in the coming months.
The news comes on the heels of a milestone achievement for Crave, with the premium service announcing today that its current subscriber base has reached 2.3 million subscribers since the launch of the all-new Crave in November 2018. With the addition of STARZ, Crave subscribers now have access to an exclusive programming lineup unlike any other streaming service with HBO, SHOWTIME, Hollywood hit movies, VICE, kids programming, acclaimed originals, and more.
"Bringing STARZ to Canada is testimony to the continued commitment to offer our viewers exclusive, premium programming at an unparalleled value," said Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay. "Our amazing partners at STARZ have been integral to this mandate with their genre-bending, stand-out programming, making the addition of STARZ a must-have for discerning Canadian viewers."
"The unique opportunity to bring STARZ to viewers on both linear and digital platforms simultaneously makes Bell Media the ideal partner in Canada. We are excited to see this opportunity come to fruition and look forward to introducing Canadian audiences to all of the premium content that STARZ has to offer," said Superna Kalle, Executive Vice President, International Digital Networks.
Here's what the critics had to say about just a few of STARZ hit original series:
SWEETBITTER - "delectable drama" – Wall Street Journal
VIDA - "Starz may have another buzzworthy, hard-to-define half-hour series on its hands" – IndieWire
COUNTERPART – "beautifully made, smart and deftly crafted to unleash surprises and twists" – Globe and Mail
POWER - "an engrossing blend of high-stakes drama, plot twists and charismatic performances" – New York Times
THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE - "All of the performances are superb, starting with (Riley) Keough…on par with Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver — yes, really" - Vulture
NOW APOCALYPSE – "Sure to be a cult favorite." – Hollywood Reporter
- NOW APOCALYPSE (March 10)
- THE ROOK (2019)
- COUNTERPART (Season 1 and 2)
Acclaimed library series:
- BOSS (Seasons 1-2)
- BLACK SAILS (Seasons 1-4)
- SURVIVOR'S REMORSE (Seasons 1-2)
- MAGIC CITY (Seasons 1-2)
- POWER (Seasons 1-4)
Fan-favourite limited series:
- THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE (Season 1)
- THE WHITE QUEEN
- THE WHITE PRINCESS
Lionsgate series and films:
- NURSE JACKIE (Seasons 1-7)
- I LOVE YOU, AMERICA (Seasons 1-2)
- 3:10: to Yuma, Daybreakers, Crash, Battle Royale, Buffalo '66, American Psycho, and more than 80 more (beginning April)
About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada's leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, digital media, and more. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services. Bell Media is Canada's largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 109 licensed radio stations in 58 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral, an out-of-home advertising network of more than 30,000 faces in five provinces. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; video streaming services including Crave, TSN Direct, and RDS Direct; and multi-channel network Much Studios. The company produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; owns a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios; is a partner in Just for Laughs, the live comedy event and TV producer; and owns Dome Productions Inc., one of North America's leading production facilities providers. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. Learn more at www.BellMedia.ca.
The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is a global content leader whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, video games, esports and other new entertainment technologies. Lionsgate's content initiatives are backed by a nearly 17,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global sales and distribution infrastructure. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company's worldwide consumer base.
Starz (www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is a leading global media and entertainment company that produces and distributes premium streaming content to worldwide audiences across subscription television platforms. Starz is home to the flagship domestic STARZ® brand, STARZ ENCORE, 17 premium pay TV channels and the associated on-demand and online services, including the highly-rated STARZ app. With the launch of the STARZPLAY international premium streaming platform and STARZ PLAY Arabia, Starz is expanding its global footprint in a growing number of territories. Sold through multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, telecommunications companies, and other online and digital platforms, Starz offers subscribers more than 10,000 distinct premium television episodes and feature films, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular programming.
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