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Logos Herald New Starz Alignment

3/27/2005 7:00 PM Eastern

Starz Entertainment Group LLC is now operating a new network universe.

The premium programmer today (March 28) launched the first phase of what it is calling the largest rebranding effort in the history of television. Starting at 6 a.m. (MT) all 13 Starz and Encore channels began featuring new on-screen looks and logos.

And a trio of new channels — Starz Edge, Starz Comedy and Starz Kids & Family — bowed.

The idea: to build brand unity and equity with the Starz and Encore symbols and wordmarks and to craft an identity for each of the multiplexes with the descriptors, according to executive vice president of marketing Jerry Maglio.

“The changes bring all the brands into alignment, but this is just an evolutionary beginning,” he said.

“In focus groups, we asked people if they liked the Encore channels, and they would respond that they didn’t know them,” Maglio continued. “Then they were asked about some of the multiplexes and they responded by saying, 'I love Action or Mystery. I guess I do like Encore.’ We’re looking to build more awareness and credit for the brand and the multiplexes.”

The revise will also tout updated Starz On Demand offerings.

Starz Edge, a service aimed at the 18-to-34 set, succeeds Starz Theater, while Starz Kids will meld into Starz Kids & Family, offering daypart-appropriate films to children and families. That frees up space for a Starz Comedy channel.

Starz Edge and Starz Comedy should bring younger viewers into the tent. “Typically Starz viewers range from 24 to 48, and Encore runs a little older, especially with Encore Westerns,” said Maglio. “We now have greater curb appeal and that should give us more audience dispersion.”

Look for Starz Entertainment to reach out to various audience constituencies down the road.

Maglio said concepts for interstitial segments are being submitted for each network. “These will be more than just navigational trailers. We want this to be fun and entertaining content,” he said.

From there, the company would likely build out campaigns aimed at getting consumers to check out a particular multiplex and expand their viewing preference across the Starz or Encore family.

Coinciding with the start of the month’s programming schedule, starz.com and encoretv.com on April 1 will also reflect the new logos and network images. Logos were designed by the San Francisco office of Landor & Associates, and new on-air looks came out of New York-based PMcD Design.

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