During Lionsgate quarterly investors call, it was revealed that its board of directors has given the greenlight to its management team to explore spinning off or selling its Starz streaming service.

Lionsgate purchased Starz in 2016 for $4.4 billion, but has struggled to find enough subscribers. Especially with most of the studios now having their own streaming services and aren’t licensing out their movies to companies like Starz.

In the United States, Starz has multiple Disney owned movies, including lots of 20th Century Studios titles. Due to a new agreement made before Disney+ launched, some movies are shared between Disney+ and Starz. But for most 20th Century Studios titles, they’ve been hopping on and off of Disney+ for years because of long term contracts.


When Lionsgate purchased Starz in 2016,  Disney+ didn’t exist and 20th Century Fox wasn’t owned by Disney, so existing deals might have been easier to keep in place, but should Starz be sold off, this could allow for titles to stop leaving Disney+. The new contracts might not be able to be transferred to a new owner, so revert back to the original owner. The selling of Starz could give Disney an opportunity to renegotiate with the current owners before its sold, or renegotiate a buyout of the existing contract with the new owners, or even perhaps Disney could purchase Starz to gain additional content for its streaming services.  There are multiple ways Disney could benefit from a new owner of Starz, or it could still cause a problem if Netflix, Apple, Amazon or Comcast picked up Starz.

Starz has about 30 million subscribers overall and added just over 1.5 million subscribers in the last quarter. It brought in a revenue of $385 million in the quarter and has a profit of $5.5 million.


During the quarterly call, Lionsgate vice-chair Michael Burns said

“While we continue to realize substantial synergies from being Lionsgate and Starz together, we also see the opportunity to potentially unlock significant shareholder value under a scenario where investors have the ability to value our studio assets and Starz separately. Recent transaction multiples in the media space give us confidence that exploring alternate paths is prudent. Additionally, we believe that a number of the structures we’re considering would allow Lionsgate and Starz to preserve many of the operational benefits we’re currently achieving within a single corporate structure”

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer also thinks Lionsgate is way undervalued and is even getting “negative value” for its Starz international assets.

Recently, Disney and Starz had a heated legal dispute in Latin America over the name, as Disney was trying to launch Star+ in the region, resulting in a settlement being paid to Starz so that Disney’s general entertainment and sports streaming service could launch.


It has been well documented over the past few years that we will see some consolidation within the streaming marketplace because there are, frankly, too many streaming services, and we are going to see more merging together. Amazon is purchasing MGM, Disney purchased Fox, with HBO Max and Discovery+ expected to merge when the WarnerMedia buyout of Discovery is complete. Many are also hoping Hulu and Disney+ merge together when Comcast’s stake in Hulu is sold.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the coming months with Starz, because now a big “For Sale” sign has been put on the streaming service. Nothing is guaranteed.

What do you think could happen with Starz?


 











Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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28 Comments

  1. Terrell Davis November 4, 2021

    All I can say is, I hope that Starz becomes its own company again, like how it used to.

  2. Clyde November 5, 2021

    If Lionsgate were to sell Starz to anyone I think it should be sold to Comcast. Disney has FX, WarnerMedia has HBO, (the premium cable channel G.O.A.T) and ViacomCBS has Showtime. Comcast lacks something all those 3 media giants have which is a premium cable channel. It will also help Comcast tremendously with Peacock by merging it with Starz’s streaming service and the new name for should be Starz Platinum

    1. Clyde November 5, 2021

      As well as adding Starz content to Comcast’s content library

      1. Ben Morrison November 5, 2021

        This will also allow Lionsgate to sell The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn & Ash Vs. Evil Dead (TV Series) to NBCUniversal for it's content library. So 3 Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movies would be re-released by Universal.

        1. Ben Morrison November 8, 2021

          That means The Evil Dead: Groovy Collection would be the last evil dead [4k uhd] [blu-ray] to be distributed by Lionsgate before selling Starz to Comcast.

          1. Ben Morrison November 8, 2021

            That means The Evil Dead: Groovy Collection would be the last evil dead 4k blu-ray & blu-ray to be distributed by Lionsgate before selling Starz to Comcast.

          2. Clyde November 9, 2021

            Oh Ben it’s you again and yeah it just makes too much sense for Comcast to buy Starz

    2. Ben Morrison November 20, 2021

      If Comcast buy Starz, then Disney would buy 100% stake of Hulu from Comcast, and Hulu would be folded into Disney+ to add mature contents & more content hubs, here's hoping that The Walt Disney Company would merge with Fox Corporation to form DisneyFox Corporation.

      1. Ben Morrison November 20, 2021

        Here are some results of The Walt Disney Company-Fox Corporation Merger 1. 20th Century Studios would renamed back to 20th Century Fox 2. Searchlight Pictures would be folded into Hollywood Pictures (which would be revived as an arthouse unit) 3. Touchstone Pictures will be revived (as genre unit). 4. Blue Sky Studios would be revived after it's defunct in April 2021. 5. The Walt Disney Studios would be renamed as DisneyFOX Studios 6. XYZ would launch as a adult-oriented nighttime programming block of Disney Channel 7. ABC Family Worldwide, Inc. would be folded into FX Networks, thus Freeform would change it's name to FX Family. 8. Fox Broadcasting Company would be owned by ABC Entertainment Group as Fox Televison Network. 9. My Network TV would spin-out as it's own company. 10. Walt Disney Television would renamed as DisneyFOX Televison Group.

        1. Ben Morrison November 21, 2021

          11. Disney would renamed back to it's former name, Walt Disney Pictures, however, Disney will keep it's name for Pixar movies.

          1. Ben Morrison November 21, 2021

            12. Disney Music Group would renamed as DisneyFOX Music Group. 13. Disney Theatrical Group would renamed as DisneyFOX Theatrical Group. 14. Disney General Entertainment Content would renamed as DisneyFOX General Entertainment Content. 15. Disney Branded Television would renamed as DisneyFOX Branded Televison. 16. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. would renamed as DisneyFOX Home Entertainment, Inc. 17. Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution would renamed as DisneyFOX Media & Entertainment Distribution 18. Disney Streaming would renamed as DisneyFOX Streaming 19. Disney Platform Distribution would renamed as DisneyFOX Platform Distribution 20. Disney Media Distribution (international) would renamed as DisneyFOX Media Distribution. and 21. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures would renamed as DisneyFOX Filmed Entertainment. Disney would hopefully buy Fox Corporation from Murdoch family to form DisneyFOX Corporation

          2. Ben Morrison November 21, 2021

            Oh I forgot, 22. Primary Distribution rights to Batman 1966-1968 TV series + Movie would be sold to Warner Bros. Discovery since Marvel was owned by DisneyFOX Corporation. 23. The Rights to Hanna Barbera's Fantastic Four & New Line Cinema's Blade Franchise (3 Movies + 1 TV Series) would be owned by DisneyFOX Corporation since DC was owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. Btw, After Disney buys 100% stake of Hulu (to be folded into Disney+), then Comcast would buy Dreamworks Pictures from Amblin Partners, Dreamworks Pictures would reunite with Dreamworks Animation & become a subsidiary of Universal Pictures.

          3. Clyde November 29, 2021

            I personally hope Disney doesn’t merge with anybody except maybe Hearst Corporation although I prefer Disney to just trade 50% of A+E for 20% of ESPN. If Disney even does consider merging with Fox Corporation it will be blocked anyways.

          4. Ben Morrison December 6, 2021

            Never mind, change of plans, so instead of The Walt Disney Company-Fox Corporation Merger, Rupert Murdoch Should plan on shutting down Fox Corporation (especially Fox News) and let Disney buy the Fox name to change it's back from 20th Century Studios to 20th Century Fox, while Searchlight Pictures would be folded into New World Pictures (which would be revived as an arthouse unit), or Disney may change it's name from 20th Century Studios to 20th Century Touchstone instead, there is two alternative ways. In 2019, after the Disney-Fox deal was completed, the Fox Networks Group operations in the United States (except for FX Networks and National Geographic Partners' US channels) were handed over to the Fox Corporation. While the international operations were integrated into Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, it kept the Fox Networks Group branding. On January 17, 2020, Disney dropped the "Fox" name from the two main film studio units acquired from 21st Century Fox,while there were no mention of changes to other lesser Fox-branded units, including Fox Networks Group. The branding is no longer in used in the Middle East division of the Fox Networks Group since April 2021, and Asia Pacific division since October 2021 as the two divisions changed its corporate name to Disney Networks Group but its channels that uses the FOX branding such as FOX Taiwan and FOX Arabia were still in used. Fox channels were discontinued in UK and Ireland on July 1, 2021, and in Germany, South Africa and Asia Pacific on October 1, 2021.

          5. Ben Morrison December 6, 2021

            Oops my mistake, I meant New World Entertainment would be revived as a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, Searchlight Pictures would be folded into Four Star Films (which would be revived as an arthouse unit).

          6. Ben Morrison December 6, 2021

            Oops my mistake, I meant New World Entertainment would be revived as a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, Searchlight Pictures would be folded into Four Star Films (which would be revived as an arthouse unit).

          7. Ben Morrison December 6, 2021

            Sorry about that again, btw, Rupert Murdoch Should plan to shut down Fox Corporation (especially Fox News) and let Disney buy the Fox name and rename 20th Century Studios back as 20th Century Fox, Searchlight Pictures would be folded into Four Star Films (which would be revived as an arthouse unit), & New World Entertainment would be revived as a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, however Disney should rename FOX Brand channels outside USA, while Star content hub would renamed as FX outside Asia. In Latin America, Disney should rename Star Channel to FX Family & Star Life to FX Life in Latin America, while Star+ would be folded into Disney+ in Latin America. FX on Hulu would renamed as FX on Disney+ due to Hulu being folded into Disney+. In April 2021, Disney faced a trademark dispute in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico with Lionsgate's Starz Entertainment over the use of the Star brand in Latin America. The Wrap reported that Disney had five days to respond to the Brazil lawsuit. As a result, on May 13, 2021, it would be announced that the launch of Star+ in Latin America would be delayed to August 31. While Disney eventually won the dispute, in July, they would lose an appeal in court in Brazil to the name dispute with Lionsgate. In August 2021, Disney and Starz reached a settlement over the brand name issue allowing Star+ to launch in Latin America on August 31 as scheduled. The lawsuit was dropped after the deal was reached.

          8. Ben Morrison December 7, 2021

            Btw, my 2 accounts mistakenly enter post these same comments.

  3. Clyde December 13, 2021

    Ben Morrison please don’t falsely accuse me of being a liberal lunatic as I’m not trying to be political on this site, but I do not think that Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corporation deserve to have William Fox’s last name associated with a news network he had nothing to do with as 20th Century Fox existed long before Rupert Murdoch bought it in 1985. Instead of trying to use his last name on his channels like Ted Turner for most of his channels he created for his media company he just lazily plastered the Fox name on almost every cable channel he created imaginable. Disney did a really foolish decision to let Murdoch keep the Fox name in my opinion just so his polarizing news network can keep the Fox name. I bet William Fox was rolling in his grave after what Disney and Rupert Murdoch have done to his studio that he had spent thought and care to the studio he created along with Darryl Zanuck and Joseph M. Schenck.

    1. Ben Morrison December 16, 2021

      Hmm 🤔, well at least Disney would rename 20th Century Studios to 20th Century Touchstone.

      1. Clyde December 16, 2021

        Actually Ben i made an error about FX it’s actually not a premium cable channel at all it’s actually more similar to something like TBS or TNT (except there’s no sports programming) than HBO because it has commercials although they have premium cable channel like shows, so I guess Disney can buy Starz because although FX has premium cable like shows it is technically not a premium cable channel, so I’m now fine with them buying Starz.

        1. Clyde December 16, 2021

          Besides they did more with Starz than Comcast. (Comcast should still consider buying Starz because they need to benefit Peacock very badly, and like Disney they don’t have a premium cable channel) FX is also included in the basic cable package as well so Disney can and probably should buy Starz.

          1. Ben Morrison December 20, 2021

            Or Disney can buy Starz Encore (to be renamed back as Encore) as part of NBCUniversal's acquisition of Starz Inc. Trust me, I respect to your opinion.

          2. Ben Morrison December 20, 2021

            Not to be confused with Disney+ TV series Encore!

          3. Ben Morrison December 20, 2021

            Oops, I meant Disney can make their own premium cable channel. I still respect to your opinion.

          4. Clyde December 29, 2021

            I would personally rather have Comcast buy Starz, as they need it’s content more than Disney does, as they are doing fine without Starz. Whereas Comcast’s Peacock service is struggling. I think merging Starz and Peacock would help Comcast tremendously. If Disney buys Starz I would not be upset, but I hope Disney doesn’t buy up more companies and Intellectual properties for a very long time after that.

          5. Ben Morrison January 1, 2022

            If ViacomCBS merged with Lionsgate, then Comcast via NBCUniversal would buy Starz, oh yeah, and Disney should buy Foxtel from News Corp Australia (65%) & Telstra (35%).

          6. Ben Morrison January 6, 2022

            btw, I know The Walt Disney Company was greedy by removing the fox name on January 17, 2020, if Alphabet Inc. buys The Walt Disney Company, then Alphabet via Disney will acquire Fox Corporation from Murdoch family (except for Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations & Tubi that will be owned by Sony, & MarVista that will be owned by NBCUniversal), and Request TV will be revived as a premium cable channel 1. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation renames Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation (20th Century-Fox) to Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (20th Century Fox) (without a hyphen) in 1985. 2. The Walt Disney Company renames Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (20th Century Fox) to 20th Century Studios, Inc. in 2020 ViacomCBS should've announce a deal to merge with Lionsgate and sell Starz to Comcast/NBCUniversal I respect to your opinion