Starz has made changes to its Encore pack of channels citing the nation’s evolving demographics and focusing on groups who over-index in viewing within the premium pay TV category. That translates to shuffling some of the eight Encore-branded channels to target baby boomers, Black and Latino audiences and the company acquiring older TV series to serve them, something rarely done on premium cable which is traditionally built on movies and original series. Starz also is launching a horror block on Encore Suspense.
Beginning December 2, Encore Drama will be replaced by Encore Black, a channel catering to the African-American community, traditionally over-indexed on premium channel viewership. The channel’s programming lineup will include Martin Lawrence’s 1st Amendment Stand Up and off-network series What’s Happening!!, Diff’rent Strokes, 227, and Amen. The December launch will spotlight actor Samuel L. Jackson with films such as Unbreakable, Losing Isaiah, Freedomland and One Eight Seven.
Another HD channel, Encore Classic, will replace Encore Love. It will focus on the Baby Boomer set, with a mix of movies and classic TV series such as Murphy Brown, Magnum, P.I., and Night Court, Kramer vs. Kramer, American Graffiti, Independence Day, Breaking Away, Stand By Me, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, Good Will Hunting, Tootsie, Basic Instinct and The Notebook.
Encore Suspense will launch a nightly horror block The Graveyard Shift from 9 PM ET/PT til approximately 5 AM. It will feature movies from studios, including Starz’s own Anchor Bay Entertainment. Titles airing in December include Night Of The Living Dead, The Fly, Silent Night, The Amityville Horror, The Dead Zone, Resident Evil: Retribution, and Frozen.
Additionally, Encore Español Moves to a Lower Tier and will be made available as part of the lower-cost Spanish-language channel bundles. “Growth in Latino and Boomer populations and continued over-indexing in TV usage by African-American audiences created marketplace opportunities for us to add incremental consumer value to the Encore services,” said David Baldwin, EVP of Program Planning for Starz.