Cable Operators

Mediacom Launches New Premium Strategy

4/19/2004 10:08 AM Eastern

Looking to sign new digital subscribers and prevent customers from jumping from satellite, Mediacom Communications Corp. said it plans to begin marketing a package of premium-movie channels to subscribers who would be able to get the programming without buying expanded-basic packages.

On Monday, Mediacom announced an agreement with Starz Encore Group LLC to offer the programmer’s Starz! HD and Starz On Demand services. In May, Mediacom customers will be able to get 20 Starz movie channels, Starz On Demand and a digital set-top and remote for one price, which the MSO still hasn’t set.

Mediacom executives said the MSO is looking to cut similar agreements with Home Box Office and Showtime Networks Inc., and it will market packages that allow subscribers to buy one or more premium channels and their accompanying subscription-video-on-demand programming without having to subscribe to digital-basic channels.

The arrangement should provide a boost to Starz Encore since the company’s movie channels have only been available to digital-cable subscribers. Rivals HBO and Showtime have analog slots on systems owned by Mediacom and many other MSOs, in addition to digital carriage.

September