Starz, Universal Reach SVOD Deal


Starz Encore Group LLC will have access to a number of new films and library
titles from Universal Studios for its subscription-video-on-demand service as
part of a three-year deal.

In extending its output deal with Universal through 2004, Starz has secured
the right to air as many as 50 percent of future Universal titles, and it gains
access to some 400 older studio titles for use both on its premium-multiplex
services and its Starz On Demand SVOD service.

Home Box Office, which will split the Universal package with Starz, has the
option to cut Starz's output from Universal to as low as 25 percent, according
to sources. In 2005, the studio's output deal for new titles will be held
exclusively by HBO.

Nevertheless, Starz Encore Entertainment president Robert Leighton said the
deal vastly improves Starz's SVOD lineup, which also includes movies from such
major Hollywood studios as New Line Cinema, Revolution Studios, The Walt Disney
Co. and Disney-owned studios Hollywood Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax

'By adding the quality Universal Studios film product to our unmatched
collection of hit movies available on Starz On Demand, we now have amassed SVOD
rights from all of our major studio output partners,' Leighton said in a
prepared statement.