is taking a big step in its plan to expand internationally, striking a deal with Bell Media
to launch the first Starz-branded service in Canada.
Bell Media’s The Movie Network Encore is to be rebranded next year, likely with Starz in the moniker although Bell Media did not get specific. The channel will also be made available as a standalone app for streaming.
As part of the deal, Starz parent Lionsgate
has also set a theatrical pay TV output deal with Bell Media covering future releases. Lionsgate’s existing movie output pact in Canada is with Entertainment One
“We’re delighted to bring Starz to Canada as part of our international channel rollout,” said Starz president-ceo Chris Albrecht
. “Bell Media is one of North America’s elite content companies, and they bring great brand recognition, a massive consumer base, and unparalleled distribution skills to our alliance. This agreement creates the perfect foundation for the growth