Weinsteins buy into Starz Media

The Weinstein Company (TWC) has bought a 25% stake in producer and distributor Starz Media. The deal will see the Weinstein brothers take a chunk of the Liberty Media owned company for an undisclosed sum and Starz start to handle distribution of some Weinstein Company and Dimension films.

Starz will handle the digital and home entertainment distribution of up to twenty Dimension and TWC titles per year in an agreement that does not stretch to TV. TWC movies will continue to air on US cable net Showtime under the terms of an agreement that runs until 2014.

The other distribution deal involves Starz subsidiary Anchor Bay handling domestic home entertainment distribution for new TWC and Dimension theatrical titles in the US. Sony and Vivendi Entertainment will continue to handle distribution of catalogue titles.

 “The Weinstein Company new release content is a quality addition to our distribution pipeline of new releases from Anchor Bay Films and Starz Originals,” Starz president Chris Albrecht said.  “Harvey and Bob Weinstein are terrific business partners and we are very pleased to have them as part of Starz Media.”

The Weinsteins deal comes as Starz enters negotiations with US-based streaming service Netflix, which has come to rely on its content. However the price to renew that deal reportedly stretches to hundreds of millions of dollars and analysts are now tipping the digital company to attempt to buy the Starz cable channel outright in a multi-billion dollar deal.

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