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  • Jun. 12, 2015, 7:41 PM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) has signed Courtney Kemp Agboh, creator of its biggest series Power, to an exclusive deal.
    • Kemp Agboh -- who had formerly worked on The Bernie Mac Show, The Good Wife and TV's Beauty and the Beast -- will continue as showrunner for Power, which launched its second season June 6 with the most-watched program in Starz's history, with 1.43M viewers of the premiere (and 3.62M with weekend encores, but not counting time-shifting).
    • In Power's first season, it pulled 4.7M viewers per episode counting time-shifting and encores.
    | Jun. 12, 2015, 7:41 PM
  • Jun. 3, 2015, 4:41 PM
    • A revitalized John Malone is ready to push consolidation across media firms, with his eye on content now that the Charter-Time Warner Cable wheels are in motion.
    • The "bundle" is coming apart, he tells the WSJ, and as he hinted at earlier this spring, Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) could play a key role in content mergers.
    • Lions Gate could buy Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) and potentially other free radicals in the industry,” Malone said. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE:SNI) or AMC (NASDAQ:AMCX) could be targets though those agreements might be difficult.
    • Malone engineered a stock-swap earlier this year between Lions Gate and Starz that put him on LGF's board in exchange for 4.51% of Starz, and Lions Gate was reportedly close to a Starz buyout before valuation concern killed the deal.
    • Asked at an investor meeting about CBS and Viacom, Malone didn't announce any plans, pointing to the Sumner Redstone succession issue (Redstone controls near 80% of both companies) -- though there's wide belief that either could be for sale after Redstone's death.
    • Aside from his involvement in Starz and Lions Gate, Malone also has a 29% voting stake in Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) as well as a stake in ITV (OTCPK:ITVPF), not to mention his position in the various Liberty companies. (Liberty Broadband is backing Charter in its TWC takeover.)
    • After a flat day, Starz spiked 1.5% heading into the close, and Lions Gate finished the day up 1.8% as Malone's comments came to light.
    | Jun. 3, 2015, 4:41 PM | 1 Comment
  • Apr. 30, 2015, 12:55 PM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) has moved up 2.5% after a Q1 where it beat expectations solidly across the board and ramped up its original programming by the most ever.
    • Operating income rose 26% to $142.5M. Adjusted OIBDA gained 23% to $155.5M.
    • Subscriptions gained by 400K since the end of Q4, and are up 1.8M from a year ago. Starz has 23.7M subscribers.
    • Revenue by segment: Starz Networks, $334M (up 3%); Starz Distribution, $109.7M (up 25.7%); Starz Animation, $7.3M (down 18%).
    • The company says its slate of original programming this year will include 75-80 episodes of scripted series.
    • Conference call at 1 p.m. ET.
    • Previously: Report: Lions Gate was close to Starz buyout (Apr. 29 2015)
    | Apr. 30, 2015, 12:55 PM | 1 Comment
  • Apr. 30, 2015, 7:43 AM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA): Q1 EPS of $0.79 beats by $0.16.
    • Revenue of $450.7M (+7.3% Y/Y) beats by $14.69M.
    | Apr. 30, 2015, 7:43 AM
  • Apr. 29, 2015, 10:33 PM
    • Confirming some industry speculation, Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) was close to buying Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) when the two entered a stock-swap deal in February -- and it fizzled in part because of Starz' valuation, The Wrap's Jon Erlichman writes.
    • John Malone (Starz' biggest shareholder) got a board seat at Lions Gate and Starz got 3.43% of LGF in trade for 4.5% of Starz. But Malone reportedly wanted to make a deal, and Starz had talked with Viacom (VIA, VIAB) Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Fox (FOXA, FOX) last fall, Erlichman says.
    • Starz reports earnings tomorrow and any buyer will have to pony up more now than last September: Shares are up more than 30% from their lowest point then, to $38.60 today. If Starz' valuation was a problem for LGF in February, it's bigger now.
    • But Starz CEO Chris Albrecht describes the two companies as "kissing cousins" and a consolidating industry may force Malone's hand somewhat.
    • Previously: Wolff: Get ready for 'M&A mania' with media consolidation (Apr. 09 2015)
    • Previously: Maffei: More might come from Malone-Lions Gate relationship (Mar. 09 2015)
    | Apr. 29, 2015, 10:33 PM | 2 Comments
  • Apr. 9, 2015, 9:08 PM
    • Don't let recent merger challenges and failures fool you, Michael Wolff argues: "M&A mania" is coming to a media conglomerate near you amid pressure for a new wave of consolidation.
    • "Perhaps never before has consolidation been so much the flavor of the month, nor has it seemed so difficult to get a taste," he writes. "The table is set, but nobody's sitting down to eat."
    • If Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) fails in its bid for Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), he notes, it just means other cablers will step up to match Comcast's ambition, and Comcast will still look for a way to stay dominant.
    • He points to a number of mergers he thinks are easily imaginable: Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) and FOX? Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)? TWC and Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR)? Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) and, well, most anyone (Disney, Fox, CBS)?
    • Factors encouraging the wave: Media's all about video now, and the pure-play aspect makes merger logic cleaner; distribution and content are separate and now even antagonistic businesses; the growth of over-the-top means not unbundling but re-bundling; and everyone needs scale for negotiation strength in content and ad deals.
    • Other key players: John Malone (LMCA, LBTYA, STRZA); Verizon (NYSE:VZ); Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF); Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI); Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX); DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and AT&T (NYSE:T); Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH).
    | Apr. 9, 2015, 9:08 PM | 17 Comments
  • Mar. 30, 2015, 5:10 PM
    | Mar. 30, 2015, 5:10 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 9, 2015, 8:04 PM
    • Don't be surprised if there's more to John Malone's tie-up with Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), says Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei -- but don't count on it either.
    • Speaking to Deutsche Bank's Media, Internet & Telecom conference, Maffei hinted that Liberty Chairman Malone joining the Lions Gate board as part of a Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) stock swap would help both parties get to know each other.
    • “You need to have partnerships, you need to do more,” Maffei said. “Whether that ultimately leads to acquisitions ... you need to be able to do more with bigger people.”
    • Maffei says HBO's rollout of its streaming service bodes well for Starz, demonstrating how to distribute product in more ways, though "I think we can do it in a way that is in conjunction with our cable, telco, and satellite partners. which is attractive."
    • Previously: Starz, Lions Gate deal may presage closer relationship (Feb. 11 2015)
    • Previously: Lions Gate adds Liberty's Malone to board in Starz stock-swap deal (Feb. 11 2015)
    | Mar. 9, 2015, 8:04 PM
  • Feb. 25, 2015, 8:10 AM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) beat on top and bottom lines for Q4 as it continued to segue from a chiefly movie-based program provider into more original series and alternate distribution methods.
    • Adjusted OIBDA up 27% to $148.3M; operating income up 31% to $136.1M.
    • Revenue breakouts: Starz Networks, $332.6M (up 3%); Starz Distribution, $85.6M (up 2%). For the full year, Starz Networks revenue was up 1% to $1.312B; Starz Distribution revenue slipped 28.5% to $321.5M, on fewer new releases from Weinstein Company and Starz Original series.
    • For the quarter, STARZ subscriptions were up by 800K, ENCORE subs up by 300K.
    • Full-year STARZ subs were up by 1.1M to 23.3M total; combined STARZ/ENCORE subs of 57.3M.
    • The company expects 70 episodes of scripted series in its Starz Originals slate this year and extended its distribution deal with the Weinstein Company through 2020. Starz launched channel packages on Google Chromecast and Xbox One.
    • Conference call at 1 p.m. ET.
    | Feb. 25, 2015, 8:10 AM
  • Feb. 25, 2015, 7:36 AM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA): Q4 EPS of $0.74 beats by $0.21.
    • Revenue of $425.6M (+2.6% Y/Y) beats by $2.35M.
    | Feb. 25, 2015, 7:36 AM
  • Feb. 24, 2015, 5:30 PM
  • Feb. 11, 2015, 6:29 PM
    • The deal John Malone struck to get a board seat and 3.43% of Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) might be just the beginning for Malone's Starz network (NASDAQ:STRZA), Miriam Gottfried notes.
    • TV networks are entering a new, shaky era of consolidation and direct-offer channels using the Internet, but Starz lacks the benefit of size and has struggled to produce hits.
    • As a stand-alone studio, Lions Gate could benefit from getting closer to Starz and its steady cash flow, or even merging.
    • The network has been for sale since spinning off from Liberty in 2012, though its CEO tossed cold water on takeover prospects just last month.
    • Today: LGF +9.2% (and +0.3% after hours); STRZA +3.5%.
    | Feb. 11, 2015, 6:29 PM | 4 Comments
  • Feb. 11, 2015, 9:20 AM
    • Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) is up 6.4% premarket with a stock exchange agreement that adds Liberty's John Malone to its board.
    • The deal has Lions Gate exchanging 3.43% of its common stock for 4.51% of stock in Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) held by Malone, who says the transaction "creates the potential for a number of strategic opportunities around the world" with LGF.
    | Feb. 11, 2015, 9:20 AM | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 26, 2015, 12:33 PM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) will report Q4 results on Feb. 25.
    • The conference call is scheduled to begin at 1.00 p.m. ET.
    • Consensus view is EPS of $0.53 on revenues of $424.30M.
    | Jan. 26, 2015, 12:33 PM
  • Jan. 20, 2015, 7:59 AM
    • Morgan Stanley upgrades Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) to an Overweight rating from Equalweight.
    • Analysts with the investment firm set a $32 price target on shares.
    • M&A remains in the background of the discussion on Starz with several Chinese conglomerates and tech giants seen as hungry for a content acquisition.
    • STRZA +1.8% premarket.
    | Jan. 20, 2015, 7:59 AM
  • Jan. 8, 2015, 8:33 AM
    • Shares of Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) are on watch after the company's CEO made a firm pronouncement on the odds of a takeover during his chat at the Citi 2015 Internet, Media, and Telecommunications Conference yesterday.
    • "I've never looked at Starz being acquired as a great end result," said Chris Albrecht.
    • A stand-alone Starz appears to still be the primary goal of managment.
    • Albrecht has a solid explanation for how the rumors on CBS, 21st Century Fox, and Lions Gate being on the hunt for Starz got started - noting bankers trying to disrupt deals for other bankers are the culprits.
    • "This is one incestuous giant mess that results in me sitting and reading something about the company I run," laments the exec.
    • Conference webcast
    | Jan. 8, 2015, 8:33 AM
Company Description
Starz is a media and entertainment company. It provides premium subscription video programming to U.S. MVPDs, including cable operators, satellite television providers and telecommunications companies.