Los Angeles -- Encore Media Group LLC said last week it has
renamed the company Starz Encore Media Group LLC.
The move will reinforce the company's commitment to help
cable operators drive digital penetration through the subscription movie service's new
12-channel Starz Encore Super Pak, said chairman John Sie.
"We all know DBS [direct-broadcast satellite] is
eating cable's lunch" by adding more than a quarter million new subscribers a month,
said Sie. Cable systems can respond by offering movie packages at prices closer to those
of DBS, he said.
Sie suggested operators charge $12 per month for the Super
Pak, which includes up to 24 channels including East and West Coast feeds.
Starz Encore will launch the package with a $30 million
national branding campaign in February. Although operators will still have the flexibility
to set their own consumer pricing, Sie noted that DirecTV Inc. charges a $10 incremental
fee for a monthly package that includes the Starz and Encore channels.
Included in the Starz Encore Super Pak are Starz, Westerns,
BET Movies, Action, Starz Family, New Encore, Love Stories, WAM! America's Kidz Network,
Mystery, Starz Theater, True Stories and Starz Cinema.
Sie said the company's cash flow is expected to exceed $160
million this year, a 60 percent increase over 1998.