The agreement encompasses Starz and Starz Encore linear and HD channels, on-demand and online services. It comes on the heels of the Season 6 premiere of Power, a marquee series for Starz, which saw steady linear ratings but a double-digit rise in digital viewing numbers.
Securing carriage is more complicated than it used to be, given the multiplying factors coming to bear in the changing TV distribution landscape. This summer has seen several high-profile carriage disputes lead to channel blackouts across the dial. Premium networks like Starz have clashed with distributors, especially satellite companies DirecTV and Dish, because they have made their networks available as stand-alone streaming services that don’t require a pay-TV subscription. HBO has been at an impasse with Dish since last October, the network’s first such battle with an operator to result in the network going dark.
“Our customers want more choice and value in addition to compelling entertainment in our channel offerings. We’re pleased to deliver that combination in this new agreement with Starz,” AT&T Communications chief content officer Daniel York said.
“Starz is pleased to have found a mutually beneficial way to extend our relationship over the next several years to give millions of AT&T subscribers access to our acclaimed premium original content and vast library of blockbuster films,” Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch said. “By working together, both companies are in a position to continue to deliver great value to our shared customers.”