Lionsgate postpones Starz split after eOne deal, prepares for Lat Am exit


Lionsgate, fresh from its acquisition of Entertainment One, has delayed plans to split from Starz until early in 2024 and has said it will end its operations in Latin America.

The US mini-major, which revealed details about its plans to separate its studio business and Starz in July, blamed the delay on its acquisition of eOne and “uncertainties surrounding the strike”.

The company, which confirmed the news as it released its quarterly results, made an SEC filing last month in which it revealed that Lionsgate’s film and TV studio would become a separate company, subject to board approval.

Its media networks assets, primarily encompassing the pay-TV and streaming operations of Outlander, Gaslit and Power Book unit Starz, would remain as part of the existing firm.

Lionsgate’s plans to sell or spin off Starz were first revealed in late 2021, barely five years since the studio acquired the company for $4.4bn, though no deal has come to fruition in the intervening months.

Lionsgate’s Latin America exit

The US studio also said it would exit Latin America by the end of 2023, focusing instead solely on the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.

The move comes after Lionsgate+ rebranded its Starzplay streamer and pulled the service from swathes of Europe including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as the Nordics and Japan.

The streamer had commissioned a handful of projects from the region, including dramedy series Yellow (working title), its first Spanish-language project that was being produced and filmed in Mexico by Fremantle and Bron-backed prodco The Immigrant.

Lionsgate revealed the news as it confirmed its Q1 results, which saw revenue rising 2% to $909m. The company added that its streaming operations under Starz, including Lionsgate+, had 19.9 million subscribers, up almost 10% on last year.

TV production revenue, however, was down by almost 50% to $218m, blamed on a high delivery of shows this time last year. Profits, meanwhile, were up 17% to almost $23m thanks largely to syndication.

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