*Starz has made changes to its Encore pack of channels citing the nation’s evolving demographics and focusing on groups who turn up in numbers within the premium pay TV category.
That translates to shuffling some of its eight Encore-branded channels to target baby boomers, African American and Latino audiences and the company acquiring older TV series to serve them – something rarely done on premium cable, which is traditionally built on movies and original series.
Beginning Dec. 2, 2013, Encore Drama will be replaced by Encore Black, a channel catering to the African-American community, traditionally over-indexed on premium channel viewership.
The channel’s programming lineup will include “Martin Lawrence’s 1st Amendment Stand Up” and off-network series “What’s Happening!!,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “227,” and “Amen.”
The December launch will spotlight actor Samuel L. Jackson with films such as “Unbreakable,” “Losing Isaiah,” “Freedomland” and “One Eight Seven.”
Another HD channel, Encore Classic, will replace Encore Love. It will focus on the Baby Boomer set, with a mix of movies and classic TV series such as “Murphy Brown,” “Magnum, P.I.,” and “Night Court,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “American Graffiti,” “Independence Day,” “Breaking Away,” “Stand By Me,” “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Tootsie,” “Basic Instinct” and “The Notebook.”
Encore Suspense will launch a nightly horror block The Graveyard Shift from 9 p.m. ET/PT til approximately 5 a.m. It will feature movies from studios, including Starz’s own Anchor Bay Entertainment. Titles airing in December include “Night Of The Living Dead,” “The Fly,” “Silent Night,” “The Amityville Horror,” “The Dead Zone,” “Resident Evil: Retribution,” and “Frozen.”
Additionally, Encore Español Moves to a Lower Tier and will be made available as part of the lower-cost Spanish-language channel bundles.
“Growth in Latino and Boomer populations and continued over-indexing in TV usage by African-American audiences created marketplace opportunities for us to add incremental consumer value to the Encore services,” said David Baldwin, EVP of Program Planning for Starz.