Comcast customers who want to keep Starz as part of their cable package may soon have to pay $12 more per month. The plan to dump Starz from its packages comes as the cable giant battles the network over how much it pays to carry Starz content.
Starting in December, Comcast plans to replace Starz with Epix. Comcast claims that it’s cheaper for them to carry Epix instead of Starz.
While this change won’t cause the prices to go down on existing packages, it will help reduce the speed at which they go up.Comcast
Comcast wants to offer Starz as a direct-to-consumer subscription service instead of bundling it in a package. Doing this would allow customers who want Starz to subscribe, without forcing others to pay for it, Comcast said.
The cable giant noted Starz allows its content to be sold a la carte through Amazon Prime, Roku, and its own app for $8.99. Customers only need to activate Starz and sign in using the Starz app or a stand-alone app such as Amazon Video.
The Department of Justice is weighing a probe into Comcast’s threats to charge consumers extra for movie channel Starz, which is behind shows like “Power” starring rapper 50 Cent.
Officials within the DOJ’s antitrust division are looking into Comcast’s announcement last week that it will replace 17 Starz channels in its Xfinity TV package with movie channel Epix amid complaints, including by some US senators, that the move is anti-competitive.
Program carriage issues have never provided a basis for plausible antitrust concerns. Today, with the current state of the market where programmers have so many options, it is hard to see any viable antitrust claim against a distributor.”Comcast
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