Starz to add two HD channels, enhance lineup

Starz Entertainment will make HD feeds available for their EENCORE ACTION and ENCORE DRAMA channels, bringing their total high-definition channel count to 11. The premium network will also add  ENCORE ESPANOL and launch MOVIEPLEX as its own commercial-free premium movie channel. Starz says upgrades will happen on August 1, 2011.

As well as the addition of new channels and upgrades, Starz is making some branding changes including the replacement of ENCORE WAM with ENCORE FAMILY and ENCORE MYSTERY with ENCORE SUSPENSE.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes directly from the Starz Press Release:

  • Launch ENCORE ESPANOL – The eighth ENCORE channel, ENCORE ESPANOL, will mirror the programming of the flagship ENCORE channel, with big Hollywood movies uncut and commercial free for Spanish-language households.
  • ENCORE FAMILY Replaces ENCORE WAM – ENCORE FAMILY will satisfy the growing demand for ad-free channels safe from objectionable content. Following the success of STARZ KIDS & FAMILY, ENCORE FAMILY will leverage quality family-friendly movie programming for all audiences.
  • ENCORE SUSPENSE Replaces ENCORE MYSTERY – ENCORE SUSPENSE will expand the channel’s reach by offering more programming options and further engage the audience for dramatic programming.
  • HD for ENCORE ACTION and ENCORE DRAMA – ENCORE ACTION HD and ENCORE DRAMA HD, two of the most popular ENCORE theme channels, will be the company’s 10th and 11th Hi-Def channel launches.
  • MOVIEPLEX – MOVIEPLEX will become its own discreet, commercial-free premium channel and will no longer simulcast a daily rotation of the ENCORE channels. The change will drive even more variety for MOVIEPLEX with incremental movie programming that strengthens each of the respective brands. The new MOVIEPLEX will provide affiliates with even more flexibility in delivering premium content to their subscribers.

Starz channels are available with DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS, and most cable TV providers.

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

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