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Here is an interesting idea from Starz!

Normally I wouldnt post press releases but this one might make you think.

I know out of the 200 channels I get I only watch 10 or 12 of them regularly.

Here you go

STARZ ENCORE'S HALE TO SKYFORUM:
STOP THE MADNESS, FLIP PROGRAMMING STRATEGY

TIER THE DOGS -- OFFER LOW-COST PREMIUM MOVIE CHANNEL PACKAGE WITH
LOCALS AND PROVEN BASIC PERFORMERS TO DRIVE GROWTH, CUSTOMER
SATISFACTION AND PROFITS

New York, May 1, 2002 -- Building on a message unveiled last week, a senior Starz Encore Group executive told satellite TV industry leaders gathered in New York yesterday to flip the way their industry packages programming by including premium movie channels in entry-level packages and discarding superfluous basic networks of little or no interest to most consumers.

"Tier the dogs, said Mike Hale, Starz Encore's executive vice
president and chief marketing officer, a reference to the numerous
digital basic networks of questionable value that have sprung forth to fill digital satellite and digital cable capacity, "and give consumers what they really want from digital TV, movies and sports.

Hale told SkyFORUM attendees at the Waldorf Astoria hotel they should relegate narrow interest and poorly rated digital basic networks to distant tiers for purchase in bundles, replacing them with a value-priced package of premium movie, sports and local channels, along with a core group of well-known basic cable channels. "The key questions here are, is anyone watching these basic channels and what are they doing for customer satisfaction?"

Hale said consumers are ticked off about high costs and the long climb up the ladder of different programming packages to attain much-desired premium movie channels and sports. He said the direct broadcast satellite (DBS) industry could endear itself to customers forever with a basic 100-channel package that comprised his proposal.

"As Aesop's Fables taught us in 'The Fox and the Grapes,'it's easy to despise what you cannot get," said Hale. "Premium movie channels and sports are the things people really want from digital TV, but they're discouraged by a thicket of basic channel packages that ramp up the price. Let's lower the grapes for consumers so they can quench their thirst."

With almost daily headlines about high cable bills and programming costs in the trade and consumer press, Hale suggested DBS operators "stop the madness" of force-feeding niche channels whose ratings and satisfaction levels lag behind their high license fees. "With a single stroke, DBS could cut programming costs, improve customer satisfaction, drive growth and boost profits, added Hale, a cable marketing veteran with Starz Encore since its founding 11 years ago.

Citing the Starz Super Pak of up to 12 premium movie channels for
about 12 dollars a month as a perfect fit for this new strategy, Hale said DBS operators could build a "digital share driver" by combining this new basic programming strategy with subscription video-on-demand technology (SVOD).

He said DBS could easily be the first to market with a valuable
package of attractive channels and the DVD-like, on-demand control of SVOD, creating and enticing reason for consumers to drive their digital dollars toward DBS and away from cable.

"No doubt about it, it's a slugfest out there and this radical
strategy would surely help DBS enlarge its share of digital TV
customers, added Hale

Starz Encore President of Distribution Que Spaulding issued a similar call for a programming lineup revamp at last week's Carmel Group Satellite Entertainment 2002 conference in California.

Starz Encore Group LLC (Starz Encore) is the largest provider of cable and satellite-delivered premium movie channels in the United States, owning 15 domestic channels with approximately 114 million pay units. Starz Encore offers the Starz Super PakSM, with up to 12 digital movie channels, and Starz On DemandSM, the first premium subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service. Starz Encore is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L, LMCb), www.starzencore.com.
 
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