TCA: Albrecht: We're Not In Competition With HBO - Multichannel

TCA: Albrecht: We're Not In Competition With HBO

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Beverly Hills -- Even as Starz Entertainment LLC ramps up its original programming lineup on both Encore and Starz, the company is not looking to compete with pay TV rivals HBO and Showtime  in the scripted series space, according to Chris Albrecht, CEO of the company.

Albrecht, speaking to TV critics Friday during Starz' TCA presentation, said Encore's foray into original series with the Aug. 1 debut of miniseries Moby Dick and Starz's original lineup, which includes Spartacus: Vengeance and the Kelsey Grammer-starrer Boss premiering Oct. 21, help build value for both brands. Albrecht, who served as HBO chairman from 2002 to 2007, added that he hopes both Showtime and HBO remain successful to keep the premium TV category strong.

"It's really a good idea for us to have the pay TV category healthy so that the distributors focus on selling it," Albrecht said. "HBO as the brand leader plays a tremendous role in bringing attention to that ... we root for our fellow pay TV brethren."

Albrecht said Encore is looking at several other miniseries and scripted content to air on the network that could eventually filter down to one of the seven Encore multiplex channels depending on the genre. "Our goal is to put a full slate of original programming on the air that feels distinctive and that people want to pay for, " he said. "We will add and subtract aggressively until we have a great mix."

He also said Encore scripted originals will offer less sexual situations and violence than traditional premium cable fare to better reflect the Encore brand.

"Encore is a deep library service that has tremendous satisfaction," she said. "We'll be looking to find our way to what that flavor of the shows will be, but it will definitely be toned down from the intense content [on premium channels.]

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