While CBS previously expressed interest in potentially acquiring the Starz premium cabler, the newly formed ViacomCBS is reportedly not looking to actively pursue the potential acquisition in the near term.
Variety reports that there have not been any substantive talks about a potential acquisition of the Lionsgate-owned Starz since the newly merged ViacomCBS was announced, and the combined entity is unlikely to explore an acquisition so soon after its own mega-merger which aims to close by the end of the calendar year.
ViacomCBS will reportedly employ a “highly disciplined” approach and will “not do anything to dilute shareholder value” with its acquisition strategy going forward likely to be conservative.
Starz is responsible for numerous premium cable series including “Outlander,” “Black Sails,” “American Gods,” “Power,” “Spartacus,” “Ash vs Evil Dead,” “Vida,” “Counterpart,” “Survivor’s Remorse,” “The Girlfriend Experience,” “Now Apocalypse,” “Camelot,” “Magic City,” “Blunt Talk,” “Flesh and Bone” and more.
Starz has been picking up streaming subscribers as cable subscriptions drop off with 4.4 million having the SVOD service and growing faster in that arena than either Showtime or HBO Now. Starz ended the first quarter of fiscal 2020 with 26.5 million total global subscribers – up 10% in the past year – and remains a big draw for any potential Lionsgate buyer.