Comcast and Starz Entertainment Group Announce Groundbreaking Movie Deal
PHILADELPHIA, pa and ENGLEWOOD, CO
Largest Movie Video-On-Demand Agreement to Date Long-term Starz and Encore Channels Agreement
Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the country's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, and Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG), the largest provider of premium movie services in the United States, today announced that they will offer more than 1,500 movies a year from SEG's extensive library to Comcast's ON DEMAND video-on-demand service. This is the single largest video-on-demand movie content agreement to date. The agreement also covers the launch of two new SEG premium movie channels on Comcast systems and provides for the extension of the affiliation agreement between the two companies into the next decade. Finally, the agreement provides Comcast more control over future programming costs while providing SEG greater predictability in its long-term revenue stream.
The comprehensive agreement paves the way for Comcast to bring Starz to more Comcast customers and expand Encore and its thematic channels to additional digital cable customers. In addition to access to these channels, the agreement covers broad video-on-demand rights. Comcast plans to offer digital cable customers who subscribe to Starz 325 top movie titles per month, and offer Encore customers 250 of these movie titles per month - all at no additional charge. Digital cable customers who would have paid $3-4 per movie to receive top movies now will each be able to receive up to $1,000 per month worth of value at no additional charge from Comcast.
Comcast will also make available for no additional charge 100 of the 250 Encore movies as part of a new digital cable package that will be the gateway to video-on-demand for those customers who have previously experienced traditional television content.
"This is the most important movie deal Comcast has ever done and is further evidence of our commitment to giving customers the most choice and the best content on television," said Steve Burke, President of Comcast Cable and COO of Comcast Corporation. "Going forward, we'll continue to leverage our superior two-way platform to differentiate our products and deliver the ultimate entertainment experience."
SEG President and CEO Robert B. Clasen said the deal represents a milestone in the development of video on demand, which has improved customer satisfaction and reduced subscriber churn wherever it has been introduced. "This agreement will also give us a long term relationship with the largest cable company in the country and provides a fabulous launching pad for two new channels."
"Further information about the new channels will be announced shortly," Clasen said, but noted that, like all other SEG services, they would be movie- based and commercial-free.
This agreement will offer customers blockbuster titles each month, such as:
Comcast will also offer VOD movie themes, such as World War II, Westerns, Halloween movies, Woody Allen features, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington movies.
Comcast customers are embracing on demand, watching more than 100 million ON DEMAND programs in May 2005 (up from 20 million views in January 2004). In the two years since it launched ON DEMAND, Comcast has added thousands of hours of programs to its on-demand menu and now offers viewers more than 3,000 choices a month. With Comcast ON DEMAND, customers can watch programs any time they want as well as rewind, fast-forward and pause their selections.
About Starz Entertainment Group
Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG) is the largest provider of premium movie services in the United States with approximately 174 million pay units. SEG offerings include the Starz Encore Movie Pack with 13 digital movie channels and more than 750 movies per month, Starz HDTV, Starz On Demand, and Starz Ticket, the first and only on-demand premium Internet subscription service available on the broadband platform. Starz Entertainment Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L, LMCB), http://www.starz.com.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.5 million cable customers, 7.4 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.2 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
Some of the more than 1,500 movies titles from SEG's extensive library that will be available on Comcast's ON DEMAND video-on-demand service include:
The Incredibles, Friday Night Lights, The Village, The Forgotten, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, The Pacifier, The Aviator, King Arthur, Finding Neverland, National Treasure, Elf, Wimbledon, Radio, Con Air, Spy Kids 3, Cold Creek Manor, Peter Pan, Ella Enchanted, Brother Bear, Mona Lisa Smile, The Missing, Mystic Pizza, Sister Act II, Leaving Las Vegas, Three Men and a Baby, Mad Max, Cape Fear, Cocktail, Ghostbusters, D2: The Mighty Ducks, Kindergarten Cop, Agnes of God, Betsy's Wedding, Thelma & Louise, My Girl, Laws of Attraction, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Stakeout, White Men Can't Jump, The Thing, Blade: Trinity, Dragnet, Shall We Dance?, Christine, French Kiss, Mr. Mom, White Squall, F/X2, Colors, How To Deal, Dick Tracy, Five Easy Pieces, Do the Right Thing, Mermaids, Parenthood, Hoosiers, Punchline, About Last Night, Angels in the Outfield, Starsky & Hutch, What's Love Got to Do With It, Quiz Show, Mystic Pizza, Postcards from the Edge, Working Girl, Good Will Hunting, Stanley & Iris, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, The Prince of Tides, Turner & Hooch, Good Morning, Vietnam, Mr. Holland's Opus, The Rocketeer, The Distinguished Gentleman, Nell, Guarding Tess, The Crying Game, Groundhog Day, The Bourne Supremacy, Dead Poets' Society, Pulp Fiction, Cool Runnings, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Miracle, Die Hard, Patton, One Good Cop, Eight Men Out, I Love Trouble, Under the Tuscan Sun, The Santa Clause 2, Music of the Heart, Mighty Aphrodite, La Bamba and Crimson Tide.
SOURCE Comcast Corporation