AT&T To Stir Starz Into Online Video Mix

U-verse TV Affiliate Renewal Includes Premium Programmers' Authenticated Online Services

AT&T expects to soon offer Starz Entertainment's authenticated online video services to U-verse TV subs, as part of the telco's renewed affiliation deal with the premium programmer.

Financial terms and other deal specifics were not disclosed.

AT&T becomes the third Starz affiliate to obtain authenticated online rights, along with Comcast and Dish Network. Separately, Starz is negotiating a new deal with Netflix; that agreement is up in the middle of the first quarter of 2012.

AT&T U-verse TV currently offers 17 premium channels and feeds from Starz, including all 13 distinct Starz and Encore channels, plus IndiePlex and RetroPlex; five HD channels -- Starz HD, Starz Kids & Family HD, Starz Comedy HD, Starz Edge HD and Encore HD -- as well as Starz On Demand, Encore On Demand, Starz HD On Demand and Encore HD On Demand.

With the expanded affiliate deal, AT&T also acquired the authenticated online rights to deliver the Starz Online and Encore Online services for its premium subscribers. In addition, the telco has the rights to deliver Starz's MoviePlex premium channel and associated MoviePlex On Demand, MoviePlex HD On Demand and MoviePlex Online services in the future.

"We're very pleased to grow our relationship with Starz and deliver even more quality premium content on U-verse TV, and soon, online," AT&T president of content Dan York said in announcing the agreement. "This deal helps us with important strategic content initiatives and brings more value to our movie package and U-verse TV customers."

At the end of 2010, the Starz network had 18.2 million subscribers and Encore had 32.8 million. AT&T closed out last year with 2.99 million U-verse TV customers.