Advanced Television

Lionsgate: “Starz spin-off this summer”

May 30, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Streaming service Starz will definitely be sold this summer, according to a statement from owners Lionsgate – with the financial and other considerations wrapping by the end of the year.

Lionsgate acquired Starz in 2016 and paid some $4.4 billion (€4.09bn) at the time.

“We are engaged in a robust and productive process with our bankers and a number of potential strategic and financial partners,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told equity analysts during Lionsgate’s fiscal Q4 revenues and earnings call.

The existing Starz business will be split into two: Studio, and pay-TV platform. CFO Jimmy Barge told analysts that “under a separate company structure, each company will be focused on their respective core business.”

Feltheimer said its global streaming customers grew 47 per cent y-o-y (to 24.5 million). One of its strongest regions is Starzplay Arabia which helped push the overall worldwide subscriber base to 35.8 million.

There are a number of would-be buyers eyeing Starz, including streaming specialist Roku, Vivendi’s Canal+ and US DTH pay-TV broadcaster DirecTV. Private Equity firm Apollo Global is also reportedly interested.

“Obviously, anything can change. We’re in an incredibly disruptive environment right now. But based on the conversations we’re having, we think that’s the appropriate time frame,” Feltheimer told analysts.

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