• Kirby Grines

Starz and Comcast Looking at Possible Blackout

Who's Got The Power and Who's Feathers Will Be Ruffled?

Increasingly, Cable providers and networks are getting into disputes, which have led to a record number of blackouts in 2019. When the two parties can’t agree on a price, the broadcaster’s channels get blacked out and customers get left in the dark.

Starz just notified millions of its shared Comcast Xfinity customers that they'll lose access to STARZ, STARZ Encore and the 15 other premium channels in the STARZ family, as well as its entire lineup of programming.

Comcast alerted customers on its website Tuesday that it would be replacing Starz in its television packages beginning December 10, 2019, meaning that subscribers would no longer have access to future episodes of the hit series “Power,” which ranks #1 among African-American audiences, as well as upcoming seasons of “Outlander” “American Gods,” “Vida” and its deep film and television catalogue without paying an additional $12 a month to receive the channel. 

Starz said in a statement,

“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."

The announcement comes at a time when Comcast is losing a TV subscriber every 35 seconds and in the middle of the sixth and final season of Starz' most-watched and highest rated show, Power.

According to Deadline, Power’s numbers have significantly grown over the last 3 seasons and the Season 6 opener ranks as the second most watched cable drama opener of the year. Number 1 was a little show you may have heard of called Game of Thrones.

Subscribe for the top direct-to-consumer headlines plus

OTT strategy insights, 43Twenty news, good eats, and more!