Starz to Launch Hispanic Network

Seeking to better serve its Hispanic
viewership, Starz Entertainment will launch in August
a standalone, Spanish-language version of its premium
Encore movie channel.

The move is one of several changes planned for the
seven-channel Encore multiplex of channels beginning
in August, as it looks to broaden the appeal of its mix of
classic blockbuster movie titles. Encore’s kids-themed
service WAM! and Mystery channel will be rebranded as
Encore Family and Encore Suspense, respectively, while
Encore Action and Encore Drama will be made available
in high-defi nition, according to network officials.

Encore Español will mirror the content on the 33 million-
subscriber Encore channel, but with Spanish-language
audio, Shelanski said. While Spanish has always
been available on the SAP feed of all the Starz and Encore
multiplex channels, officials hope the dedicated Encore
Español channel will have more appeal to Hispanic

Shelanski said Encore ratings for Hispanic households
overindex in viewership by more than 40%, with such titles
as 2012, The Bounty Hunter, City Island, The Bourne
and Jaws performing well within the demo.

“The Hispanic population loves movies, and we think
we have the best inventory of movies exclusively at any
time, so making those
movies available in
Spanish-language is going
to be stronger than
adding original content,”
Shelanski said.

Starz executive vice
president of sales and
affiliate marketing Ed
Huguez said the company
is talking to distributors
about adding
Encore Español, but
deals have yet to be
reached. Distributors
may choose between
launching Encore Español
within the Encore
Movie Pack or as part of
an appropriate Spanish language

“It gives us another
hook into providing value
to the distributors
that they can use to their
benefit,” Huguez said.
“We have a high proportion
of Hispanic viewers watching Encore, so having the
primary feed being in Spanish simplifies the proposition.
This is a natural extension of the Encore
suite of channels.”


Encore’s WAM! channel, which currently
offers films targeted to teens and
young adults, will be rebranded to
Encore Family in an effort to include
movies suited for the whole family.

“We wanted to have a channel that
was dedicated to safe viewing for all
families and one that they can trust
to see something family-appropriate,”
Shelanski said. “We have such
a wealth of inventory that we wanted
to create the same type of viewing experience
on the Encore level that we
have on Starz [with Starz Kids & Family

The Encore mystery channel will
change its name to Encore Suspense
“to make it more encompassing of different
types of movies and product,”
he added.

With the HD feeds of Encore Action
and Encore Drama, 11 of the 17 Starz/
Encore channels are now offered in
HD, company officials said.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.