Starz CEO John J. Sie Predicts Movies Will Premiere on Cable, Satellite
Advent of HDTV, Broadband VOD Platform, Compelling Economics Will Drive Studios to Show Films First in the Home Before Theatrical Release Home Debut Could Generate First-Day Revenues of $200 Million per Film Within Next Decade BOSTON, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Starz Encore Group Chairman, Founder, and CEO John J. Sie today predicted that movies will regularly premiere on cable and satellite, rather than in theaters within the next ten years. Sie told the Harvard Business School Media Conference that the widespread adoption of high definition television sets by consumers and ubiquitous deployment of VOD platforms enable millions of Americans to have a theater-like experience in their homes, and that the economics of the movie business will drive studios to make use of this audience to debut their films. "Last year, the theatrical screenings of films generated about $5 billion in revenue for the studios," Sie told members at the conference, "compared with $4 billion from cable and satellite. Clearly we are rapidly approaching the tipping point where it will make more sense for studios to release their films first on cable and satellite, and later in the theaters." Releasing a film on satellite and cable can save millions in distribution costs, Sie pointed out. "And the economics are irresistible." Sie noted that there are about 5 million HD capable sets in the United States today. In the next decade, that figure will likely rise to 50 million or about 50% of US television households. "If a major studio can debut a film at a price of $19.95 (about what it costs two people to go to the theater) and attract 20% of HD homes to watch, that would generate $200 million in revenue on the opening day, a blockbuster number in anybody's book," he said. Sie did not forecast the demise of the movie theater. "Millions of Americans still love the experience of getting out of the house and going to a theater and always will," he said. "But in the future, big films will debut in the home and create the buzz for their theatrical releases, rather than the other way around." Sie, a 30-year veteran of the cable and satellite business, has played a key role in many television breakthroughs, including two-way cable, the packaging of multiple premium networks, the digital standard for High Definition Television, and multiplexed thematic premium television channels. Starz is the largest provider of premium movie services in the United States with approximately 151 million pay units. Starz offerings include the Starz Super Pak(R), with up to 13 digital movie channels and more than 750 movies per month, Starz On Demand(R), the only on-demand pay TV subscription service available on cable, satellite, and broadband platforms, and a suite of advanced video offerings, including STARZ! HD(SM), Encore HD(SM), and Starz On Demand HD(SM). Starz is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L, LMCb), http://www.starz.com. For further information, please contact Tom Southwick of Starz, +1-720-852-5821, or cell, +1-303-513-3758, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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