AT&T launched Starz Entertainment’s triple play of authenticated online and mobile content services available to U-verse TV subscribers who take Starz, Encore and MoviePlex premium channels, as Starz pushes to catch up to rival HBO on the TV Everywhere front.
The telco is offering the three services -- Starz Play, Encore Play and MoviePlex Play -- for no additional monthly charge to subscribers. The AT&T U-verse TV launch of MoviePlex Play is Starz Entertainment's first for the authenticated online premium service.
AT&T is Starz’s second full TV Everywhere partner. Cox Communications, in October, became the first affiliate to launch Starz Play and Encore Play. The MSO expects to also add the MoviePlex channel and related TV Everywhere service.
In addition to the Starz-hosted services, the programmer has distributed the same monthly content to AT&T and four other affiliates -- Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network and Verizon’s FiOS TV -- available via their respective online services and apps.
By contrast, HBO has struck TV Everywhere agreements with pay TV operators representing more than 98% of U.S. television households.
Starz Play, Encore Play and MoviePlex Play are available via free apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch as well as online at starzplay.com, encoreplay.com and movieplexplay.com respectively. The three services are currently accessible through Wi-Fi and broadband connections, with 4G access in development.
"We're very pleased to further expand our Starz offering and give U-verse customers access to Starz Play, Encore Play and MoviePlay online and across mobile and tablet apps," Jeff Weber, AT&T’s president of content and advertising sales, said in a statement.
Starz Play offers approximately 400 monthly selections, including 300 movies comprising films from Disney (such as Cars 2 and The Muppets) and Sony (such as The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo and 21 Jump Street). In addition, users can watched up to 100 episodes of Starz original series, including Spartacus, Magic City and Boss.
Encore Play, meanwhile, offers about 900 monthly selections with 300 movies (including Midnight in Paris, Jurassic Park and The Smurfs) and select originals (Titanic: Blood and Steel and Moby Dick). MoviePlex Play’s 200 titles currently include True Lies, The Rock. American Graffiti, Mr. Holland's Opus and Philadelphia.