Starz rebranding Encore as Starz Encore

As Starz CEO Chris Albrecht hinted during the company's fourth quarter earnings call in February, Starz is creating a new master brand by changing the name of Encore to Starz Encore starting April 5.

As part of the new strategy, Starz Encore's 33.2 million subscribers will now be able to view past seasons of Starz's original series. The move would hopefully drive more subscribers toward the Starz flagship network, which trails Encore with 23.6 million subscribers.

The rebranding comes as Encore has slowly but continually lost subscribers. Albrecht wasn't ready to elaborate on his company's turnaround plan for the network in February but he was confident it would right the ship.

"We think that that will go a long way towards creating a meaningful difference in the performance of Encore," Albrecht said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

The single master brand for Starz and Starz Encore networks means a unified look and feel as well as a single point of entry for on-air and on-demand subscribers. It's a strategy the company says will create "tremendous marketing and sell-in opportunities" for distributors.

"As the insurgent in the original programing landscape, STARZ has made a point of serving the fan first, while staying true to the creators and the powerful stories they tell," Jeffrey Hirsch, Starz President of Global Marketing and Product Planning, said in a statement. "Harnessing the power and resonance of the STARZ flagship brand and bringing the expansive movie and television series offerings under one brand is good for the consumer and the distributor alike."

The new Starz service will house 14 different linear channels, with 11 in HD.

The rebranding and unification of the Starz brand comes as CBS was reportedly pegged as the latest potential buyer for Starz, according to Deadline.

For more:
- see this press release
- see this Seeking Alpha transcript

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