Liberty Revs: Starz Up 8%, QVC Down 10%

stacks of money upLiberty Media saw revenues at its Starz family of pay-TV channels increase 8% in the first quarter on the backs of higher subscription revenues. The group has been increasingly offering original series, such as a TV adaptation of the movie "Crash," in order to diversify beyond films and own content that it can distribute to grow revenues.

Starz and sister network Encore saw average subscriber number increases of 8% and 2%, respectively. The Starz group's revenue increased to $296 million -- with the year-over-year increase of $23 million due to $10 million from the subscription growth, and the remainder from higher rates charged to existing customers.

In addition to "Crash," Starz has two original comedies. Next year, it will debut the drama "Spartacus," which it is producing itself.

Another Liberty unit, QVC, saw revenues decline 10% to $1.6 billion with the troubled retail environment. The softness occurred in the U.S. -- where there was a 10% drop -- and internationally. U.S. revenue of $1.1 billion accounts for some 70% of revenues.



Sales on domestically did increase from 24% of sales to 28%.

Liberty Media has said it will combine its 54% stake in DirecTV with Liberty Entertainment assets; the group will then include the Game Show Network (Liberty owns 65%) and regional sports channels. The new entity will then be spun off as a separate company. Starz will be part of a separate unit.

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