|Formerly||Encore Media Group (1991–1999)|
Starz Encore Media Group (1999–2001)
Starz Encore Group (2001–2005)
Starz Entertainment Group (2005–2009)
Liberty Starz (2009–2013)
|Founded||1991(as Encore Movie Group)|
Starz Inc. (founded as Encore Movie Group in 1991) is an American entertainment company that owns U.S. pay television channels, a media distribution company, and animated television and movie production. The company is headquartered at Meridian, Colorado, and uses nearby Englewood as its location in corporate filings and press releases. On December 8, 2016, it became a subsidiary of Lionsgate.
Starz Inc. (initially Encore Movie Group) started as a wholly owned television programming subsidiary and a joint venture of Liberty Media. Liberty Media split the company (then Liberty Starz) into a separate tracking stock on November 19, 2009. This tracking stock was not a separate company. Liberty Starz was wholly owned by Liberty Media, until January 4, 2011 when The Weinstein Company acquired 25% of one of the operating units. The arrangement included a five-year distribution deal under which Liberty Starz's Anchor Bay Entertainment would release new Weinstein Co. films on DVD and Starz Distribution (formerly Starz Digital Media) would handle online downloads and streaming.
On August 8, 2012, Liberty Media announced that it would spin-off Liberty Starz into a separate public company; the transaction includes about $1.5 billion of debt. The spin-off of the subsidiary was expected to be completed by the end of 2012, but was actually completed on January 11, 2013. As a result of the spin-off, Liberty Starz changed its name to "Starz Inc." Starz Inc.'s businesses and assets consist of Starz Networks, Starz Distribution, and its minority stake in Arc Productions.
On February 11, 2015, John C. Malone, the majority shareholder in both Starz and its former parent company Liberty Media, swapped a 4.5% stake with 14.5% of the voting power in Starz Inc. for 3.4% of shares in film and television entertainment company Lionsgate while joining the company's board of directors. Fourteen days later, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht hinted a possible merger with Lionsgate.
On November 10, 2015, Malone's two other companies, Liberty Global and Discovery Communications, made a joint investment of $195–400 million in Lionsgate and acquired a 3.4% stake in the company.
On June 30, 2016, Lionsgate agreed to acquire Starz Inc. for $4.4 billion in cash and stock. As part of the acquisition by Lionsgate, Starz Inc.'s home entertainment business have been subsumed into Lionsgate's Worldwide Home Entertainment division, as well as Starz Inc.'s Worldwide TV distribution group being similarly combined. On December 8, 2016, the deal was finalized thus making Starz a subsidiary of Lionsgate.
Starz Networks currently consists of 17 American cable TV channels. As of December 31, 2012, Starz and Starz Encore serve a combined 56 million subscribers, including 21 million at STARZ, and 35 million at Starz Encore. Starz, Starz Encore, and MoviePlex air over 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, On Demand, and online offerings through Starz Encore Play and MoviePlex Play.