Lionsgate/Starz withdraws from seven major markets

Lionsgate is withdrawing its Lionsgate+ streaming service (which it recently rebranded from Starzplay) from seven international territories: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, the Nordics and Japan after clocking up a $1.8 billion quarterly loss.

The company attributed the loss to restructuring costs around Starzplay, which has recently rebranded as Lionsgate+, and its international operations. The number of streaming subscribers grew by one million subscribers on the first quarter to 27.3 million.

Lionsgate will withdraw from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, the Nordics and Japan. Starz will maintain operations in the UK, Canada and Latin America.

Jon Feltheimer, Chief Executive Officer Lionsgate told an analysts call that the company “remained committed to separating our media networks and studio business.” Feltheimer admitted there was currently still uncertainty around the capital markets but given the right conditions there remained the opportunity to separate the studio from Starz and the film and TV divisions “Obviously it’s not helpful when there’s a big disconnect between the separate values and the sum of the parts of our core businesses, and where our stock price is right now,” he said.

Lionsgate acquired the pay-TV network Starz in 2016 at a cost of $4.4 billion.

In an analyst call Lionsgate CFO Jimmy Barge said a smaller number of Starz territories would “provide our international business with a clear path to profitability.

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