As streaming services grow, cable services are getting pickier about the TV channels they’re willing to carry.
In the latest sign of that trend, cable giant Comcast has told Lionsgate that it plans to drop Lionsgate’s premium channels Starz and Starz Encore from its main bundle of channels at the end of the year, according to people familiar with the situation. If Comcast follows through on that decision, it would eliminate around one-third of Starz’s U.S. subscribers, the people said. And that would seriously hurt the value of Lionsgate, a publicly traded entertainment company that also owns a film and TV studio. The Starz networks accounted for 70% of Lionsgate’s profits last year, disclosures show.