Roku Reportedly Eyeing 20% Stake in Starz

Roku has reportedly partnered with Apollo Global Management to submit a bid for a 20% stake in Lionsgate-owned multiplatform digital distributor Starz. Roku, which co-launched the subscription streaming video-on-demand market with Netflix in 2008, has been looking to up its presence as a digital content distributor, in addition to streaming gateway for third-party streaming services.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, said Roku and Apollo are looking to act on Lionsgate’s decision to spin-off Starz, which the studio/distributor acquired for $4.4 billion in 2016. Apollo acquired Redbox from Outerwall for $1.6 billion in 2016, before spinning the kiosk vendor off last year to SPAC Seaport Global Acquisition.

Lionsgate, which believes Starz is undervalued, has been busy licensing digital rights to original and catalog content to The Roku Channel and Amazon Freevee, previously partnered with Roku for original movie, Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, which Lionsgate produced.

Starz ended 2021 with about 20 million subscribers. Lionsgate in March sold its majority stake in subsidiary Starz Play Arabia for an undisclosed amount. The service has about 2 million subscribers.

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