Starz CEO Jeff Hirsch on Lionsgate, summit exit deal, OTT undergrowth – Deadline

UPDATE: Starz CEO Jeff Hirsch said that “low budget movies play better on our service than anything else,” according to the exclusive first window release deal for the Lionsgate and Summit movies announced this morning.

“Films are important to our service. Big box office movies drive a lot of acquisitions and conversions, ”he said in a question-and-answer session at a Morgan Stanley press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s also great that I can cross the street with [Motion Pictures Group chairman] Joe Drake and say, “Look, how did that go, can we do another one?”

Growth, however, is primarily driven by the original series. How much? Sixteen, he said. “We will have 12 this year, and we will increase to 16 next year.”

Kathy Bates joins’ Are You There God? This is me, Margaret’s adaptation to Lionsgate

Hirsch describes Starz as it has in the past as an adult-focused, “B-level” service run by black women, with no sports news or children’s rates. A Level A service – the usual suspects – would have between 200 and 300 million subscribers, he said. Level B would represent 20% to 40% of this amount (therefore between 40 and 120 million submarines).

Starz’s cable and streaming assets stood at around 27 million when it announced its last profits in February, with more than half coming from streaming. That goes for 60 million in total by 2025, the vast majority is expected to be streaming. It costs $ 8.99 in the US, which Hirsch says is essential. “More than ten [dollars] is always a “one or the other” decision. If it is less than ten, it is an addition. “


Lionsgate and its premium subscription platform Starz have entered into an exclusive multi-year first window release agreement for all Lionsgate and Summit label films released in theaters when current agreements expire in late 2021 and beyond. from 2022.

The deal will bring Starz franchises including John Wick as well as Borderlands, White bird: a story of wonder, Are you there god it’s me margaret, Prequel to Hunger Games The ballad of the songbirds and the snake and the next installments of Saw franchise.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer called the deal “the next logical step in capitalizing on the combination of our two companies. It provides our brands and franchises with an exciting new platform, accelerates the convergence of our studio and platform business and will support Starz’s continued growth to become one of the world’s leading premium subscription platforms. .

Starz has 28 million subscribers, more than half of whom are streaming subscribers. It offers more than 7,500 premium television episodes and feature films.

“We’re excited to continue to deepen our premium content offering for our subscribers with the highly anticipated Lionsgate movies featuring some of today’s biggest stars,” said Alison Hoffman, President of National Starz Networks. “Combining our strong line of original storytelling-focused programs by, about and for women and under-represented audiences with Lionsgate’s diverse portfolio of both commercially successful and critically acclaimed franchises further enhances the proposition of value that we bring to our subscribers and partners. ”

“We are extremely proud of our exciting, commercially wide and creatively diverse film lineup,” said Joe Drake, president of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “With a focus on attracting top storytellers and stars to collaborate on a slate filled with big-name entertainment, Lionsgate’s content strategy amplifies and aligns perfectly with high-end programming. by Starz. “

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