What's happening to Starz is downright frightening.
They're losing Disney in 2016. Their major hit show "Spartacus" (a personal favorite) is ending after the next season. "Boss" with Kelsey Grammar never caught on. After two seasons, it only averages 400,000 viewers. Pathetic. The other flagship, "Magic City" pulls in slightly over a million viewers per episode.
Can John Malone even sell Showtime at this point? For how much?
Of the trio, HBO, Showtime, and Starz is definitely the weakest of the major pay TV guys. Netflix seems to be steamrolling over it and about to take its place.
Shorts aren't realizing how quickly Netflix has ascended into the category of these three.
A year ago Greg Maffei (ceo of Liberty Media, owner of Starz) said this:
"He even warned his “good friend Bob Iger,” CEO of Disney, that ESPN might be commanding too high a price, though he acknowledged it’s a good problem to have.
“When ESPN 1 is $8.50 in a few years, and it’s a tax on every American household, and you put 12 bucks on all the ESPN bundles, that’s $250 a year probably to the consumer. That creates a lot of opportunity for people to come underneath with a disaggregated individual offering, and what does that pressure do to these cable networks?” he said. “It has been the golden goose, but what does it take to choke it?”