Starz heads to Russia with Amedia licensing deal

Michelle Clancy | 22-01-2014

Starz Worldwide Distribution has signed a multi-year, multi-platform content licensing and distribution deal with Russian content producer Amedia to broadcast Starz content in Russia, Georgia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, and the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania).

The deal covers current and future Starz original series, like the White Queen, Magic City and the upcoming Black Sails, a pirate drama from executive producer Michael Bay. Other content included in the first year of the multi-year agreement includes the VH1 TV series Hit The Floor, various TV movies (Paper Heart, Revenge, Stolen Child), and documentaries (Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible).

The eight-episode first season of Black Sails, which begins airing in the US in late January, centres on the tales of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his men, and takes place 20 years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island. Production began on the ten-episode second season at Cape Town Studios in Cape Town, South Africa, in November.

"We are very excited about expanding our cooperation with Starz," said Denis Gorshkov, vice president of programming & acquisitions at Amedia TV. "The company is well known in international TV markets with edgy and provocative premium pay TV series. We are happy to deliver such great content to Russian audiences via our pay and SVOD services. An exclusive output deal with Starz - along with previously concluded output deals with HBO, CBS/Showtime and FOX - is a logical step to strengthen Amedia as a Russian home of premium TV content from leading international studios."