Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA), which had said five months ago it was evaluating “strategic alternatives” for Starz’s Overture Films division, is handing over the business to Relativity Media. The deal ends a nearly four-year-old effort by Starz to up the amount of original content it was producing by releasing 8 to 12 full-length films annually.
Starz is still trying to boost the amount of original content it produces — but specifically for TV. Late last year, Liberty Media hired former HBO CEO Chris Albrecht to oversee Starz as part of that effort. In a release, Albrecht says that “it no longer makes strategic sense for Starz to make theatrical motion pictures” because of the company’s “increased focus on original content.”
Under the terms of the deal, Relativity is taking over “distribution and marketing operations and some assets” of Overture, which has produced titles including Capitalism: A Love Story and Sunshine Cleaning. Two-thirds of Overture’s employees are moving over to Relativity.