STARZ Becomes Latest Streamer to Pull Content, Removing Three Shows
Winter may be less than a month old, but some streaming services have already begun their spring cleaning. STARZ has become the latest streamer to start pulling content from its service, removing episodes of three series: “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Becoming Elizabeth,” and “Step Up.”
Each series had already been canceled by STARZ — though “Dangerous Liaisons” had originally been greenlit for a second season before getting the axe in December. The removals were not accompanied by any statement from STARZ.
The removal of these series from STARZ could be an indication that parent company Lionsgate is gearing up to finally spin off its movie studio from the Starz brand. That move was first announced in an SEC filing in September, and if more show removals follow on STARZ, it could be the first step in the separation process.
It was originally thought that Lionsgate would keep its movie studio and spin off the Starz cable network and streaming service instead, but those plans never materialized. Lionsgate plans to rebrand the streaming arm of Starz into “Lionsgate+” in 35 countries globally, though the STARZ name will remain in the United States.
It will bear watching to see if the three canceled series end up on an ad-supported streamer. Free streaming services are known for resurrecting discontinued shows on free ad-supported TV (FAST) channels because acquiring the rights to them costs a fraction of the amount it takes to create a new series from scratch.
The removals from STARZ are reminiscent of recent moves at HBO Max, where the CEO of parent company Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav has been pulling content for months. Most recently, that service lost more than 15 seasons of “Looney Tunes” shorts after the licensing contract ended, and in December, the service dumped “Westworld,” “The Nevers,” “Raised by Wolves,” and more from its servers as well. Those series could be part of a potential future FAST service from WBD, or they could end up on another company’s ad-supported streaming platform.
This year could see many more cancelations and removals of series from streaming services. Facing an increasingly crowded marketplace, some streamers will have to take drastic measures in an attempt to make their services profitable. The market no longer rewards streamers for simply having lots of customers, and 2023 could be the year that some dominoes start to fall in regards to services shutting down.
STARZ offers a subscription video streaming service that gives access to content on the STARZ channel without the need of a cable subscription. With your subscription, you’ll get access to 7,500+ films and episodes, including all of their current originals like “Outlander,” The Serpent Queen,” “BMF,” and “Power.”
The service also offers a large rotating library of older films like “Die Hard, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, 12 Monkeys,” and “A Beautiful Mind.”
You can subscribe for $8.99 a month either directly from STARZ, or through Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, or Roku Premium Subscriptions.