NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Starz (STRZA) , the premium cable-TV channel, was plummeting in New York on Thursday after a report that having failed to find a buyer, the network controlled by billionaire John Malone is considering alternatives to a sale. Englewood, Colo.-based Starz was dropping 16% to $27.76.
CBS (CBS) , Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) , AMC Networks (AMCX) and 21st Century Fox (FOXA) were among media companies that considered acquiring Starz, a premium pay-TV channel with some 50 million subscribers, but prospective buyers determined that the asking price was too high, Bloomberg News reported.
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Starz's apparent inability to secure a buyer would appear to be a setback for Malone and for the network, which has struggled to compete with CBS' Showtime and Time Warner's (TWX) HBO. Greg Maffei, chairman and CEO of Liberty Media (LMCA) , which controls Starz, said earlier this month that the company was open to finding a larger content-producing company to acquire the network.
A sale of Starz has been a source of chatter among the media press ever since Liberty Media said it would spin off the company in August 2012. The New York Post reported on Nov. 21 that CBS and Lions Gate were involved in talks to acquire Starz, using a value of about $5 billion.