Starz was the subject of buyout speculation this spring with CBS rumored to have made a $5 billion offer that was spurned. Starz was acquired by Lionsgate in 2016 for $4.4 billion.
Our Television Group had its best development season ever, 'John Wick: Chapter 3' reaffirmed our thesis that mid-priced action films have a valuable place in the market, and Starz achieved strong growth in its domestic OTT business while continuing to expand its premium SVOD platform around the world." "We're pleased to report strong financial results in the quarter and a great start to the fiscal year," said Lionsgate chief executive officer Jon Feltheimer. "All of our businesses are performing well.
Motion picture segment revenues increased by 8.9% to $397.8 million in the quarter due to the strong theatrical performance of "John Wick: Chapter 3." Segment profits declined from the prior year quarter to $7.6 million due an increase in P&A spending associated with a greater number of theatrical releases during the quarter.
Television production segment revenues of $279.8 million were largely in line with the prior year quarter while segment profits increased 60.3% to $25 million driven by the timing of episodic deliveries.” />
"John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum" opened on May 17 and represents the studio's first hit since 2017's "Wonder" with $170 million in box office in North America and another $150 million internationally. Lionsgate has already green-lit "John Wick 4" for release in 2021.
Lionsgate has posted revenues and operating income above Wall Street projections for its first fiscal quarter of 2019, amid growth from premium cabler Starz and a strong performance from "John Wick: Chapter 3."
Starz ended the quarter with 26.5 million total global subscribers, up 2.6 million from the prior year quarter, and 24.4 million total domestic subscribers. Starz domestic over-the-top subscribers grew 400,000 sequentially to 4.4 million, its third best subscriber growth quarter ever.
Lionsgate reported revenue of $963.6 million — $1 million above consensus estimates — and operating income before depreciation and amortization of $67.3 million, topping estimates by $3.7 million, for the quarter that ended June 30. Net loss per share was 2 cents, half of what had been forecast.
Segment profits for domestic Starz Networks business increased by 3.4% to $103.7 million. Media networks segment revenues increased by 4.9% to $372.4 million driven by strong over-the-top subscriber growth.

Television production segment revenues decreased by 11% to $921 million in the year due to timing of certain titles. Segment profits decreased by 41% to $66 million.
The report did not include the unexpectedly strong box office performance by "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum." Lionsgate has already green-lit "John Wick 4" for release in 2021.
Shares of Lionsgate declined slightly in after-hours trading by 4 cents to $15.99. The stock has declined by 50% in the last 16 months.” /> Lionsgate made the earnings announcement on Thursday at the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Motion Picture segment revenues decreased by 20% to $1.46 billion in the year due to a smaller film slate over the prior year. Segment profits decreased by 28% to $129 million. The studio's top domestic performer during the fiscal year was the final "Madea" movie, "Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral."
“We’ve refilled our film and television content pipelines, refocused on extracting maximum value from our franchise properties and are capitalizing on an extraordinary opportunity to continue Starz’s global expansion and cement its stature as one of the leading international pure play subscription video-on-demand services.” “We’ve completed a very active and productive fiscal 2019 in which we set in place all the elements for strong growth and continued value creation in the year ahead,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.
The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March 31. The earnings per share of 11 cents came in well short of the consensus outlook for 19 cents.
Revenues totaled $914 million, or $22 million under the consensus estimate. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht left the company in February. Starz reported 24.7 million overall domestic subscribers in the quarter, up 1.2 million from the year-ago quarter, driven by strong over-the-top to more than 4 million subscribers.
Lionsgate's media networks segment revenues increased by 4% to $1.46 billion in the fiscal year due to strong OTT subscriber growth. Segment profits increased by 2% to $436 million.
Starz was acquired by Lionsgate in 2016 for $4.4 billion. Starz has been the subject of recent speculation with CBS rumored to have made a $5 billion offer that was spurned.
Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz.

*The Brazilian TV giant is reaching out to international in general. NATPE 2019 ids the first time Schroder will be at the trade fair.
We are playing more balls in the same game, or more balls in different games, a moving game,” said Raphael Correa Netto, executive director of international business. “Over the last two years, we expanded the genres and the number of products that we launch onto the market, which has given us the opportunity to establish new and different partnerships. In the future, it may even essay a musical and animation, Monica Albuquerque, Globo head of development, said at NATPE.
But Globo’s always thought that way. Currently, it has 180 directors, 250 writers and 500 actors on contract, said Albuquerque. As a more ambitious OTT players come online, the battle for success has become one for finite talent.
*Globo is reaching out to international partners for production and distribution, linking to Spain’s Atresmedia Internacional, for Latin American pay TV distribution, for example, and to Telemundo Intl Studios for a Spanish-language reversion of its eight-hour original drama “Doomed” (“Amores robados”).
MIAMI  — In hallowed tradition, Brazilian TV giant Globo unveiled its NATPE line-up on the first day of the Miami trade fair.
Some indicators: In explanations of strategy, from CEO Carlos Henrique Schroder onwards, and the presentation’s motto- “Let’s Move Together” – Globo, by its own admission, is evolving in industry terms.
*The Brazilian TV giant is now producing for other platforms throughout its group behind its core free-to-air channel. One example, “Iron Island,” shown at NATPE, an oil rig drama starring Cauã Reymond (“Brazil Avenue”), one of Globo’s biggest plays, premiered on OTT service Globoplay and renewed for a second season.
Five takes from the Jan. But it also said much about where Globo is going. 22 NATPE presentation. With scripted and non-scripted promos playing to a thundering soundtrack Jerry Bruckheimer would have been proud of, this was, as ever for Globo, a polished and powerful presentation.
Notably, the first shows to be screened at NATPE were Globo limited series: “Harassment,” “Iron Island,” “If I Close My Eyes,” “Under Pressure” Season 2. The first season of  “Under Pressure,” a hospital drama set against Brazil’s impoverished health service,” won four prizes at France’s Fipa Festival, but also sold to Sky Italia and MBC Group for the Middle East, and aired in primetime this month in Argentina, winning the day. These are increasingly Globo banner titles scoring festival prizes and audiences.
But the cowboy is  a woman, the valiant Maria, caught in the series’ first scene on her mountain bike riding down a ridge, as cowboys would ride the range in days of yore.” /> “Land of the Strong” is billed by Globo as a women’s Western. One bellwether of the new-look Globo is its drive into international co-production, another the feminism of so many of its shows. In the true-events inspired “Harassment,” the  latest of Globo’s social-issue limited series – think “Jailers,” “Under Pressure” –  a group of women band together to denounce a renowned physician’s sexual assaults.
Seen in extended excerpts, “Iron Island” marks the latest step-up in VFX for Globo; the rig houses a grass soccer pitch, is as colorful a Rubik Cube: the hero suffers a helicopter accident, rig gas escapes. Globo’s series increasingly blend genres, “Iron Island” weighs in as part-action thriller.
Globo Super Series “Land of the Strong” was directed by Isabella Teixeira and Walter Carvalho, DP on Walter Salles’ Oscar-nominated “Central Station,” who was also in charge of photography. It shows –  in richly textured but dramatically contrasting scenes, from a mountain bike ride along a scrubby ridge, to an outback disco club stage performance; a couple kissing in a cave with paleolithic drawings, as a man is beaten to near death in fields.
But “Iron Island” is also a full-bore testosterone woman’s drama as a new rig head of production, a woman, the daughter of a politician, comes in to replace the macho Dante and, having suffered the patriarchy of her political big-wig father, will be damned if she’s going to be sidelined by Dante.
*Globo continues to diversify from its historic base, in fiction types and product line, split between telenovelas, “Super Series,” miniseries and limited series.

Crackle is headed by general manager Eric Berger, who also carries the title of chief digital officer at Sony Pictures Television Networks.
as part of the process to identify potential partners. Sony has engaged investment bank Moelis & Co. Other potential partners include another media and entertainment company with a large content library and TV networks that could be promotional vehicles for Crackle, or a telecom business with high-scale direct-to-consumer reach. The kinds of partners Sony is looking at teaming with on Crackle may include another ad-supported VOD provider, which could expand the variety and scope of content on Crackle and also grow its user base.
SPT also recently introduced new branding for Crackle, incorporating Sony into the logo.
Sony Pictures Television is looking to sell a piece of Crackle, its free, ad-supported streaming network, with the aim of boosting its revenue and becoming more competitive.
Sony Pictures TV laid off 12 staffers from the Crackle unit in May. According to Sony, Crackle apps have been downloaded more than 100 million times to date and the service is available in 20 countries around the globe. In June, SPT shut down the Canada version of Crackle, with some content to be available on Bell Media’s new VOD services.
Mike” />
SPT has contemplated selling a stake in Crackle — and the outright sale of the entire division — off and on over the last several years. Way back in 2006, Sony acquired web-video startup called Grouper for $65 million, which became Crackle.
In the meantime, a small group is working on the potential partnership so that the rest of our teams can operate business as usual, focusing on their day-to-day work and commitments to help ensure Crackle remains the premiere AVOD platform.
As we build and grow our direct-to-consumer businesses, I want to make you all aware that we have begun theprocess of exploring potential partnerships for Sony Crackle to drive scale and position the streaming network to be more competitive. I have some news to share.
Crackle is a tremendously valuable asset for us, and with premium AVOD getting more and more traction as advertisers seek high value online advertising opportunities, we feel there is room for greater growth for our OTT business. With the right partner – one that could bring additional content or users or leverage existing assets for advertising and promotion – we feel we can expandCrackle’s audience and significantly increase revenue.
Hopkins continued, "With the right partner — one that could bring additional content or users or leverage existing assets for advertising and promotion — we feel we can expand Crackle's audience and significantly increase revenue."
Read Hopkins' full memo:
Hello everyone,
"Crackle is a tremendously valuable asset for us, and with premium AVOD [advertising video-on-demand] getting more and more traction as advertisers seek high value online advertising opportunities, we feel there is room for greater growth for our OTT business," the exec wrote.
Mike Hopkins, the former Hulu chief who joined Sony Pictures Television as chairman last fall, outlined the potential move to bring in an equity partner for Sony Crackle in a memo to staff Monday.
In June, as part of a restructuring, Sony Pictures Television also formed a direct-to-consumer unit headed by Berger, who reports to Hopkins. That brought together Crackle and Sony’s other direct-to-consumer channels — Funimation, Film1 OTT and Animax on demand — under Berger's oversight.

"If 'Power' was on Sunday we'd be in a different situation," he said.
All that said, Albrecht predicted the sides will eventually come to a deal, even if communications between the companies are mostly through the media right now.
The industry is abuzz about the migration of traditional TV channels to direct-to-consumer streaming options. But Starz's carriage standoff with Altice USA demonstrates the limits at present of a standalone streaming option as an alternative to old-fashioned MVPD distribution.
"It's not that binary right now," Albrecht said Friday during Starz's portion of the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Subscribers to the OTT service need a good broadband connection and most likely a means of directing the online stream to a TV set.
"One of the strengths of the MVPD bundle is that it's still serving people that want (traditional TV viewing)." "There certainly are people who are not as savvy as being able to go and get another box to connect to their television so they can watch their Starz subscription," Albrecht said.
Albrecht was pressed about plans for the second season of its elaborate fantasy series "American Gods." Showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have left the project — sort of — after a clash with producer FremantleMedia North America on the budget needed to deliver Season 2. Fuller and Green "were not fired, nor did they quit," Albrecht said.
Neil Gaiman, author of the novel of the same name, is taking on more of the "traditional showrunner role" although he will be paired with a seasoned TV producer. "Brian and Michael will be involved as much as they can be. It's a little bit up in the air what their exact role will be," he said.
Starz already is a premium service that requires subscribers to pay an additional monthly fee beyond basic MVPD service. Altice's reasoning is that if customers want Starz, they can easily access to the content via the standalone app.
1 as the two sides failed to come to terms on a new contract agreement. Altice has pointed to the fact that Starz has a standalone streaming option as a reason why it is balking at paying higher carriage fees in a new deal. The 17 Starz-Encore channels went dark on Altice USA systems as of Jan.
Starz and producer Sony Pictures TV "are having very productive discussions about the future of the show."” /> "I wouldn't worry too much about that — there's 10 books and the show's doing well," he said.
"They paid a lot of money for the systems they bought. They've been having a lot of difficult programming discussions. "This is a company that's been beaten up," he said. I'm sure the (Altice) board isn't happy with the management."
Fantasy drama "Outlander" logged its most-watched season to date last year with its fourth season. There's been no official word on a renewal for Season 5 but Albrecht said there was no doubt it will return.
"It’s a big show, it's a monster show. It's faced many of the the challenges that terrific, complex premium shows face in trying to get successive seasons, especially when art comes before commerce," Albrecht said.
Both sides are financially incentivized to make things work. It's becoming increasingly a case of MVPDs wanting to pay less but still be able to charge their customers more. Obviously that doesn't work for us." "These negotiations are always difficult. "This thing is far from over," he said.
Starz also wants the stability of contractual carriage fee commitments rather than the less-predictable income from standalone subscribers. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht acknowledged to reporters on Friday that steering customers to the streaming app isn't a panacea for lost distribution in big markets including Long Island and Connecticut. Altice USA has about 4.9 million subscribers in 21 states.
He also suggested that the company was struggling under the weight of its acquisition of the former Cablevision systems in 2016. Albrecht blasted Altice for its failure to offer rebates to customers who have already paid the monthly fee for Starz.
He said Starz is carried in 43% of African-American homes that have some form of multichannel service. "Power" won't be back with new episodes until later this year. Albrecht predicted that Altice will eventually face pressure from subscribers in the New York area who are missing shows. Albrecht talked up Starz's success in reaching multicultural audiences with shows such as drama "Power," which he said ranks as the top-rated pay TV series in African-American homes.

Ozge Bulut Marasli, who heads production at Dogan, which is Turkey’s largest media group, calls local OTT originals “the beginning of a new era for Turkish content.”
“Screenwriters are much more motivated to write for streaming platforms,” says Arzu Ozturkmen, a performing arts professor with close ties to the Turkish TV community. “They see more flexibility and more margins for different themes and different narrative structures.”
“Turkish drama totally suits a global OTT environment,” says Prentiss Fraser, exec VP and managing director at Fox Networks Group Content Distribution.
So far Turkey’s standout OTT show is “Phi,” about a celebrity psychiatrist that has scored massive ratings on Dogus Media Group’s Puhu TV and will soon become South Korean TV’s first Turkish drama thanks to a deal struck by sales company Eccho Rights.
Dogan operates the BluTV platform, which, in January, aired “Innocent,” the country’s first streaming series, a 45-minute crime show that has clicked locally. But it is early days.
It announced its first Turkish original, a yet-to-be-titled Ottoman era show with a supernatural twist, toplining megastar Cagatay Ulusoy. The Netflix show is set to debut in 2018. Netflix launched in Turkey in 2016, and initially got very little traction until this year, when it localized the service.
Though linear TV still reps 80% of local consumption, Turkish originals made for OTT and SVOD play are widely considered key to unlocking new markets and taking the Turkish tube phenomenon to the next level.
Fredrik af Malmborg, managing director of Eccho Rights, which sold some 400 hours of Turkish TV drama content made for linear TV to Netflix to fuel its Turkish rollout, says the shift in format to shorter series made for OTT does not sit well with the majority of global buyers who want the longer-running Turkish series.
Freedom from the country’s creatively constricting linear TV ratings system is so welcome that actors and creatives are keen to be involved, even though the budgets are not as high. Making a show for linear broadcasters instead means writing it as it’s being produced, with the risk that it could be cancelled, which by one estimate, happens almost 50% of the time. Also, unlike free TV shows, the number of episodes and production schedule for streaming platforms is locked in advance.
A key difference is that a prime time series on Turkey’s free-to-air channels has to be hours long, whereas OTT shows can be either 45 or 70 minutes, Marasli points out. Also, “characters can be more real,” she notes, because “they use the language they use in real life, since there is less censorship.” And, while the bulk of Turkish shows are melodramas, “we can now try thrillers, horror, and sci-fi,” Marasli notes.
However, Eccho Rights intends to use such shows as “Phi” to build a segment of client that includes OTT platforms around the world. “This differentiation is an opportunity to open up new inroads, especially in the Western markets,” says Marasli. “It’s quite exciting.”” />
They are seen as the conduit to break out from a free TV ratings system put in place in 2012, in line with the country’s conservative political climate. Just as importantly, these shows employ more compressed storylines and a greater edge. This, in turn, has made it more difficult to create premium content. According to some biz insiders, the system has forced writers and producers to water down quality.
Due to the localization, “we expect a much higher growth rate for Netflix and expect it to surpass 1 million subscribers in 2020,” says IHS Markit analyst Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, who notes that Netflix so far has decided to localize its service only in Turkey, India, Poland and Israel.
In other words, Netflix is looking to exploit Turkish content internationally. The IHS Markit analyst sees Netflix’s decision to localize as being based primarily not on the size of the market (India and Turkey have big local markets, but Israel does not) but “on the export potential of the local content production industry,” he says.
“You can’t really sell anything to Latin America without having 100 episodes available,” he says. “Whereas your typical Turkish OTT original is 10 episodes.”