There’s news in sight in the world of streaming! This Wednesday (28), Lionsgate announced that Starzplay, the streaming service of the Starz group, which it owns, will receive a rebrand. Starting tomorrow (29), the platform will be called Lionsgate+ in 35 markets, including Brazil.
house of successes like The Great, Normal People and The ActStarzplay (now Lionsgate+) arrived in Brazil in 2019.
Despite having its own platform, still on the air, shortly afterwards the streaming was added to the Apple TV app and Prime Video Channels, and can be subscribed separately within the services themselves.
In addition to the name change in Brazil, Starzplay will also be called Lionsgate+ in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom , Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Australia and Japan.
The only international exceptions will be the platforms Starzplay Arabia and Lionsgate Play, present in South and Southeast Asia, which will retain their original names.
Rebranding is part of studio restructuring
Lionagste has been making efforts for a few months to separate its studio operations from those carried out by the Starz brand. Although they maintain strategies together, the idea is that these businesses work separately, even allowing Lionsgate to work for other players in the market.
The novelty announced today is in line with the producer’s recent decisions, as the rebranding reaches the international market, but does not affect either the US or Canada, where its platform continues to be called Starz.
In a statement today, Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch emphasized that even with the separation, moving outside the US is important given the weight Lionsgate carries with it.
“Operating internationally under Lionsgate+ brings a distinct and differentiated identity in an increasingly competitive international market… International.”
Starzplay and Star+ had names disputed in court
It is ironic that Starzplay is now called Lionsgate+. Starz, the brand from which the platform is derived, went into a direct collision course with Disney last year over their platform names.
In April 2021, Mickey’s company announced that it would launch in Brazil and other Latin American countries Star+, Disney’s streaming service focused on an adult audience, which does not exist in the US.
At the time, the decision did not please Starz at all, which already worked in Brazil with Starzplay and believed that the similarity between the names would confuse the public. O clash ended up in court and required four months of negotiations, which were only resolved when the companies agreed that Disney would pay Starz R$50 million for possible damages.
Despite all the imbroglio, the resolution of the conflict did indeed seem to have been cordial, to the point that in May 2022 Disney announced a combo of your streams (Disney+ and Star+) with Starzplay.