Bell Media and STARZ announced the launch of a new STARZ channel and streaming service in Canada beginning Friday, March 1. STARZ, the United States’ second most-watched pay television service, delivers immersive, premium content, including critical favorites VIDA and COUNTERPART, and the hit drama SWEETBITTER. The announcement comes as Crave confirms its subscriber base has grown to 2.3 million.
Boasting a growing slate of obsessive programs, upcoming STARZ originals include the surreal coming-of-age comedy series NOW APOCALYPSE (March 10) from Gregg Araki and Steven Soderbergh; the highly anticipated, female-led, spy thriller, THE ROOK (2019), starring Emma Greenwell and Olivia Munn; and the recently greenlit series HIGHTOWN and P-VALLEY.
Back seasons of outstanding fan-favorites include BLACK SAILS; the cult-hit comedy PARTY DOWN; the critically-acclaimed limited series THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE; and the hit series POWER, which currently ranks as the second highest rated premium scripted series this year in the U.S. among A18-49 and A25-54, with an average viewership of over 10 million.
On March 1, pay television network Encore rebrands as STARZ across two linear channels and on-demand platforms via participating television providers. The following week, STARZ becomes available directly to all Canadians with access to the internet as an add-on to Crave for an additional USD 5.99/month. The STARZ streaming service can be accessed via Crave.ca, the Crave app on iOS and Android, and Apple TV Generation 4, with additional platforms rolling out in the coming months.
The news comes on the heels of a milestone achievement for Crave, with the premium service announcing today that its current subscriber base has reached 2.3 million subscribers since the launch of the all-new Crave in November 2018. With the addition of STARZ, Crave subscribers now have access to an exclusive programming lineup unlike any other streaming service with HBO, SHOWTIME, Hollywood hit movies, VICE, kids programming, acclaimed originals, and more.
“Bringing STARZ to Canada is a testimony to the continued commitment to offer our viewers exclusive, premium programming at an unparalleled value,” said Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay. “Our amazing partners at STARZ have been integral to this mandate with their genre-bending, stand-out programming, making the addition of STARZ a must-have for discerning Canadian viewers.”
“The unique opportunity to bring STARZ to viewers on both linear and digital platforms simultaneously makes Bell Media the ideal partner in Canada. We are excited to see this opportunity come to fruition and look forward to introducing Canadian audiences to all of the premium content that STARZ has to offer,” said Superna Kalle, Executive Vice President, International Digital Networks.—Digital TV News