Starz (formerly Liberty Media Corporation) has a galaxy of premium cable properties, including the Starz, Encore, and MoviePlex networks. The company's 17 channels across those three networks -- Starz Comedy, Encore Black, Encore Espanol, Indieplex, and Retroplex, among them -- serve nearly 60 million subscribers. Starz also distributes content digitally and through DVDs in the US and internationally through its Anchor Bay Entertainment subsidiary and produces animated content via Film Roman. In 2013 the company spun off its other operations (the Atlanta Braves, a majority stake in SIRIUS XM, and other holdings) into the new Liberty Media Corporation; it then took the Starz name.
Starz' reportable segments include Networks, which generates more than 70% of sales; Distribution, which generates nearly 30%; and Animation, which has a minimal impact on sales.
The company generates 95% of its sales in the US; international markets include Canada, the UK, and Australia.
Sales and Marketing
In fiscal 2013 the company's two largest distributors, Comcast and DIRECTV, together generated about 35% of its revenue.
Starz spent about $150 million on advertising and marketing during fiscal 2013, up substantially from the $105 million spent in the prior year. The increase was due primarily to promotion of Starz original series (four of which premiered in 2013).
The company's revenue increased to $1.8 billion in fiscal 2013, up from $1.6 billion in fiscal 2012. A 40% jump in Distribution segment revenue is the primary factor in the improved results as the business had success with its own series (The White Queen, Spartacus, Da Vinci's Demons), AMC Networks' original series The Walking Dead, and popular Weinstein Company films (Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained).
Historically playing second fiddle to popular premium services like HBO and Showtime, Starz is heavily focused on original programming. It has six original series scheduled for 2014, which will position the network to deliver 65-75 hours of annual programming over the next several years. In addition, the company is working to provide its content across multiple formats as part of the "TV Everywhere" experience. In late 2013 it launched its Starz Play service on the Xbox gaming console.
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