“The first quarter of 2012 continued the solid performance of the Starz businesses, highlighted by the flagship STARZ channel hitting an all-time high of 20.1 million subscribers and ENCORE at 33.6 million,” said Chris Albrecht, Starz, LLC, CEO. “We were very pleased to renew distribution agreements with DIRECTV and Cox Communications, with both deals including TV Everywhere rights for multiplatform access to premium subscribers of our channels and services. Starz continues to build on its original programming strategy to create cinematic, spectacle television that works well for both domestic and international audiences. Our franchise series, Spartacus, concluded its second season with strong viewership, and Magic City is performing well both domestically and abroad. Starz is working with visionary filmmakers for its future original programming series, including David Goyer for Da Vinci's Demons and Michael Bay for the recently announced Black Sails.”
Starz’s revenue increased 4% to $405 million for the first quarter. The increase in revenue for the first quarter was primarily a result of increases in revenue for the Starz Channels and Starz Distribution businesses which were partially offset by a decrease in revenue for the Starz Animation business.
Starz’s adjusted OIBDA decreased 3% to $127 million for the first quarter. The decrease was primarily as a result of a decrease in the Starz Distribution business which more than offset improved results by the Starz Channels business. Adjusted OIBDA for the Starz Distribution business was negatively impacted by higher production and acquisition costs associated with films distributed for The Weinstein Company which is a lower margin product as compared to the Overture titles previously distributed.Share Repurchases From February 1, 2012 through April 30, 2012, 1.4 million shares of Series A Liberty Capital common stock (Nasdaq: LMCA) were purchased at an average cost per share of $86.53 for total cash consideration of $120.1 million. Since the reclassification of the original Liberty Capital tracking stock on March 4, 2008 through April 30, 2012, 56.4 million shares have been repurchased at an average cost per share of $30.26 for total cash consideration of $1.7 billion. These repurchases represent 43.7% of the shares outstanding at the time of the introduction of the original Liberty Capital stock. Liberty Media has approximately $1.0 billion remaining under its current stock repurchase authorization.