Starz Reorganizes Encore Channels

Starz announced Monday that it will reorganize its Encore channels to better serve African-American and Baby Boomer demographics.

Beginning Dec. 2, Starz will replace Encore Drama with Encore Black, which will feature African-American targeted comedy specials and series including Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Stand Up, What's Happening!!, Diff'rent Strokes, 227 and Amen. The African-American targeted channel will spotlight films from Samuel L. Jackson during its December launch.

Starz will also replace Encore Love with Encore Classic, which will target the baby boomer generation. The channel will air classic movies such as Kramer vs Kramer, Stand By Me and Tootsie, as well as TV series Magnum P.I., Murphy Brown and Night Court. Both Encore Black and Encore Classic will be available in high definition.

Starz is also adding a horror programming block "The Graveyard Shift" to its Encore Suspense channel. The programming block will air nightly from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. In addition, Starz has also moved its Encore Espanol channel to a lower tier that will be made available as part of the lower-cost Spanish-language channel bundles.

"Growth in Latino and Boomer populations and continued over-indexing in TV usage by African-American audiences created marketplace opportunities for us to add incremental consumer value to the Encore services," said David Baldwin, executive VP of program planning for Starz. "Along with the new nightly horror block, these enhancements will benefit Encore subscribers for years ahead.  Encore truly is 'Playing Favorites' with these improvements to the channels and the Encore on Demand and Encore Play services."