Comcast won't authenticate Starz's new OTT/TVE combo app

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has confirmed that it won't allow its subscribers to perform TV Everywhere authentication with the new Starz streaming app.

Starz released a new multiscreen app earlier this month when it debuted its direct-to-consumer streaming service. The app is not only the way customers access the $8.99 standalone Starz service; it also replaced Starz Play and Encore Play as the means for pay-TV subscribers to access TVE content.

This is maverick move among programmers — both of Starz's key rivals, HBO and Showtime, have separate apps for TVE and their direct-to-consumer platforms.

Apple's new version of the Starz app released earlier this week does not allow TVE authentication for Comcast subscribers. Multichannel News, which first reported on this issue, notes that Comcast doesn't even appear in the app's drop-down menu of pay-TV operators.

A Comcast rep wouldn't comment on the MSO's rationale for not providing authentication to the new Starz app. However, Comcast said that its Xfinity TV customers who subscribe to Starz and Starz Encore can gain TVE access to the channels via the MSO's Xfinity TV mobile apps, or through the website. 

Comcast users can also continue to authenticate Starz channels via the legacy Starz Play TVE app on Roku and Xbox 360, since Starz hasn't gotten around to replacing the TVE app on those platforms. 

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story

Related articles:
Starz finally announces direct-to-consumer service
Starz rebranding Encore as Starz Encore
Starz moving 'beyond the traditional cable bundle,' will announce partners in coming weeks

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