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With Spinoff Looming, Starz Faces Questions About Its Future LA Times

Pay-television channel Starz will become a standalone company early next year, when its parent company, Liberty Media, spins it off. But the channel faces some uncertainty and questions about its future, reports the Los Angeles Times' Company Town blog.

"Its track record producing original shows has been mixed. The market is getting increasingly crowded not only from Starz's traditional competitors, HBO and Showtime, but also from new rivals including Netflix, Amazon and Redbox. And, starting in 2017, the network will lose one of its key suppliers of movies -- Walt Disney Studios -- to Netflix," the story notes.

The piece adds, "The shift also raises the stakes for Starz and its chief executive, Chris Albrecht, who has been given the task of building an original programming pipeline." While at HBO, Albrecht helped nurture hits such as "The Sopranos."

"Achieving those heights again, this time at Starz, has proved more elusive," the article points out.

Starz executives declined to comment, noting the "quiet period" mandated by regulators before selling shares to the public, the piece adds.