Lionsgate saw its base of streaming subscribers for Starz keep rising as the Hollywood studio released its second quarter financial results as it explores a sale or spinoff of the premium cable and streaming platform.
On Thursday, the Hollywood studio saw its number of global streaming subscribers for Starz rise to 26.3 million for the three months ending June 30, 2022, in an increasingly competitive global streaming arena. That’s up another 1.8 million subscribers compared to 24.5 million at the end of its fourth quarter of fiscal 2022 and a rise of 57 percent year-over-year.
Lionsgate execs on an after-markets analyst call are expected to give an update on the studio exploring its options for Starz, including a possible separation of the pay TV and streaming business and its studio operations. The goal appears to be creating two stand-alone companies so investors can value the Starz and studio assets separately.
Starz is a pay TV channel similar to HBO and Showtime, and also offers a streaming service aimed at domestic and international audiences. Its programming includes the Power franchise, Blindspotting and Hightown. Lionsgate acquired Starz in 2016 for $4.4 billion. A deal, if one emerges, is expected some time this summer.
“We are pleased to report strong global streaming subscriber growth at Starz, another standout performance from our Television Group and key financial metrics in line with expectations,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement.
“Though we’re navigating an uncertain economic environment, we continue to successfully execute our core mission: filling our film, television and Starz pipelines and our library with premium content that creates long-term value for our consumers, partners and shareholders,” Feltheimer added.
Lionsgate’s overall revenue for the quarter came to $893.9 million, down from the previous year second quarter at $901.2 million. The studio widened its quarterly net loss attributable to shareholders to $119 million, compared to year-earlier $45.4 million loss.
The studio’s media networks revenue, which accounts mostly for Starz, came to $381.2 million, just down from a year-earlier $382.3 million. Starz Networks delivered $349.6 million in quarterly revenues, down from a year-earlier $358.2 million in revenue.
That was offset by Starzplay International revenue rising to $31.6 million during the latest quarter, compared to $24.1 million in revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2022.
The total global subscribers for Starz increased to 37.3 million, which includes Starzplay Arabia. Motion picture revenue came to $278.8 million, down 4 percent from $291.2 million in the same period of fiscal 2022, as the studio pointed to fewer theatrical wide releases in the quarter.
And TV production revenue was up sharply to $423.3 million, against a year-earlier $386.1 million, oin the strength of greater content deliveries.