Light Reading

Verizon Downloads 'Starz Play' Deal

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

A telco, not a cable operator, has become the first to pull the trigger on Starz Entertainment LLC 's new premium IP video service -- and it's a doozy: Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

Under a deal that ties into a larger, multi-year carriage arrangement, Verizon will market the subscription-based Starz Play service to its 8.5 million broadband customers.

Playing with 'Starz Play'

According to a Website dedicated to the offer, Verizon is selling Starz Play for $5.99 per month, providing unlimited access to a library of about 2,500 movies and other video titles, including Ratatouille, Spider-Man 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Later this year, Starz Play will offer titles such as Superbad, Enchanted, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. The Starz Play subscription also includes access to a live stream of the linear Starz channel and allows users to share downloaded titles on up to three authorized devices.

Consumers can sign up for Starz Play through Verizon but access it from anywhere in the United States, presumably via high-speed broadband lines run by cable operators and other broadband service providers that compete with Verizon.

"You don't have to reside within Verizon service territory to sign up for this," a Verizon spokeswoman says. All customers need is a credit card. However, existing customers will be able to bundle the Starz Play service on their Verizon bill.

Verizon is selling Starz Play as an add-on initially, though it's possible it could subsidize it and tie it in with high-speed service bundles. Verizon and Starz did not detail how they are dividing the monthly $5.99 subscription fee. The telco was not immediately available for further comment mid-day Tuesday.

Starz Play is a subset of Starz Entertainment's direct-to-consumer Vongo video service, which officially got off the ground in January 2006 and today sells for $9.99 per month. Although Starz Play does offer subscription movie downloads and access to the Starz channel, it does not offer the 200 pay-per-view titles that Vongo offers. Starz has not released any subscriber numbers for the Vongo service.

Among premium video services, Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) and Showtime Networks Inc. also have Internet-based products in the works that are designed to tie in with their cable and telco affiliates.

Earlier this year, Starz officials detailed some plans for the "Play" offering, noting that it was finalizing contracts with several large operators. Robert Greene, the EVP of advanced services for Starz, suggested that his company could have multiple deals to announce this year. (See Starz Shops IPTV Service.)

As part of the broader deal announced Monday, Verizon's FiOS TV platform has secured carriage of 16 linear networks (including hi-def feeds) from the Starz, Encore, and MoviePlex trio, for the telco's FiOS TV service. The deal also covers associated subscription-VOD fare, including HD-VOD titles.

– Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:40:09 PM
re: Verizon Downloads 'Starz Play' Deal
this isnt a bad deal if you dont mind watching a movie on a computer. if you could access this service right over your set-top box i think it would have a lot more appeal. but thats just me.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.