This isn’t good, Sassenachs: Outlander fans who get their fix by tuning into Starz via Comcast Xfinity could lose their service if the premium network doesn’t work out a new agreement with the service.
The Lionsgate-owned cable network, which also features Power, gave subscribers a head up that a blackout could occur Dec. 10 on Starz, Encore, and 15 other networks it owns unless it works out a “fair, reasonable” carriage deal with Comcast.
Here’s the message:
“Starz has been working diligently to reach a fair market distribution agreement with Comcast Xfinity in order to continue providing our shared customers with access to our acclaimed line-up of premium television content. However, months before our contract deadline and in spite of our best efforts to engage in meaningful discussions, Comcast has publicly stated their intention to drop our networks from all packages and bundles, ignoring industry precedent and demonstrating a total disregard for its customers, communities, suppliers and other stakeholders. In response, we must now alert our millions of Comcast subscribers that they will soon lose all 17 STARZ channels, including STARZ and STARZ Encore along with our on-demand and online services without receiving any refund from Comcast for the loss of an irreplaceable premium programming lineup, including the sixth season of the hit series ‘Power,’ which delivered the #1 series premiere in premium cable for the summer in total viewers and continues to rank as the top-rated premium series among African American audiences, upcoming seasons of fan-favorite series like Outlander, Vida and American Gods, along with our deep catalogue of over 7,500 distinct premium television episodes and exclusive blockbuster films.”
What’s muddying the negotiations is how consumers are finding new ways to access their favorite shows. Fans are eschewing Starz because they, for example, can find Outlander — at least the first two seasons — on Netflix now. One Comcast source told Variety that Starz’s terms are simply unreasonable. “Starz has chosen to change its business model in response to these trends by making its content available a-la-carte on Amazon Prime and Roku and selling its service direct to the consumer through the Starz app,” the source said. “All we are asking for is the same treatment for our customers.”
Outlander returns for a fifth season in February to Starz.
Starz warns Comcast users they could lose ‘Outlander’ and ‘Power’