Albrecht: Starz May Team With 'Virtual MPVDs' #TCA15

Starz is considering partnering with so-called "virtual MPVDs" to distribute its network outside the traditional cable structure, CEO Chris Albrecht said Friday at the TCA winter press tour.

Fielding questions from reporters in an impromptu executive session before the network's show panels, Albrecht was asked whether Starz would consider making a direct-to-consumer over-the-top play that would not require a subscription to a cable bundle, a la HBO Go's planned streaming service. Albrecht said Starz was "far away" from such a move. But he also mentioned efforts by Sony and other companies to develop digital services that would offer packages of channels made available via Internet connections — circumventing cable providers while making use of their broadband pipes.

"We're interested in talking to those people and there might be discussions going on as we speak," he said.

Albrecht also said that the upcoming Evil Dead series from producer Sam Raimi is set to be shot in New Zealand. He added that the series would likely premiere "end of third quarter, fourth quarter [2015], something like that."

Discussing the popularity of anthology drama series such as Starz's The Missing, which will feature a new cast and story in its second season, Albrecht noted that anthology series "used to be every episode was different." He added that the format "does allow for some creative opportunities that you don't get with series that have to remain on track with characters and stories and arcs and everything."