Comcast has quietly opened up authentication on Starz’s trio of TV Everywhere applications -- Starz Play, Encore Play and MoviePlex Play.
The addition brings the nation’s largest pay-TV operator to Starz’s growing TVE platform. Prior to enabling extending access to Starz’s individual apps, Comcast had been offering access to content from the premium programmer through the MSO’s own platform.
Comcast joins Hawaiian Telcom, Google Fiber, CenturyLink and Mediacom Communications among MVPDs that have launched Starz Play authentication in 2014 so far. They join a list that already includes AT&T U-verse, Astound, Atlantic Broadband, Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications, DirecTV, GCI, Grande Communications, Suddenlink Communications, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, and Wave Broadband.
Among other major MVPDs, Dish Network has not yet extended authentication directly to the individual Starz TVE apps, but does offer access to content from the programmer through its own TV Everywhere portal.
Speaking on the Starz first quarter earnings call earlier this month, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said Starz Play was available to more than 85% of the programmer’s base of Starz subs, with Encore Play and MoviePlex Play “not far behind.” The programmer ended the first quarter with 21.9 million Starz subscribers.
Albrecht noted that Starz also launched Encore Play and MoviePlex Play on the Xbox 360 in April, and was on track for all three Starz TVE apps to be on the new Xbox One platform by year’s end.
Starz has also developed apps for PCs and Macs, iOS devices, and several Android-powered smartphones and tablets, including the Kindle Fire and Fire HD, Nook HD and HD+, and Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.