Starz Parlays Targeting Wins With New Hispanic Shows

PASADENA, Calif. — Having targeted African-American and women viewers with original content, Starz will reach out to Hispanic viewers with a number of new projects.

The premium network will launch several Hispanic- targeted series based on popular Spanish-language stories, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said at the network’s Television Critics Association press tour here. The shows are an effort to reach second-generation, bilingual Hispanic viewers who watch premium channels.

Among the new shows are Maleficio, based on the popular Mexcian production El Maleficio, Albrecht said. He added that he hoped the new shows will do as well with Hispanics as its most-watched series, Power, has fared with African-American viewers and as Outlander has done with women.

“It’s an audience that’s hard to corral because there are a lot of cultural elements there, but I think [we can] if we put things out there that are familiar to them through pre-sold properties,” he said. “It’s an audience that is very pre-engaged in premium television, and if we can lean into them, we can show them that Starz has them on our minds.”

Separately, Albrecht wouldn’t reveal further details on a potential Starz OTT app launch, saying the programmer is still evaluating its options. Albrecht mentioned the network’s recent deal with Amazon, which provides Amazon Prime subscribers with a Starz VOD library, plus a live feed of Encore and six live Starz multiplex feeds for $8.99 a month, as a move toward putting Starz on alternative platforms.

“To have your own app is to have an opportunity to be distributed by our current distribution partners in different ways should they decide to or through other portals,” he said. “It’s early days with that stuff, but the new and the old are willing to exist side by side for a while, and it’s an exciting project right now. When we decide we have it right, I think we’ll look at the opportunities and make some decisions on that.”

The network will offer Starz Play subscribers the opportunity to binge-view its upcoming drama series The Girlfriend Experience when it launches on the network April 10, Albrecht 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.