Speaking Thursday at an investor conference in New york, Albrecht danced around the question of a merger with Lions Gate while acknowledging that talks between the two companies is logical considering their overlapping ownerships and comparative size in an industry dominated by much larger media corporations.
"There honestly isn't anything to report or we would have reported it," Albrecht said at the FBR Digital Media conference held at the Paley Media Center. "It has to be a good idea. There are some good ideas out there, but at this point no one has been convinced... But as I've said, it would be weird if I weren't talking to these guys."
Starz shares have climbed 31% in 2015, in large part because of takeover speculation, fueled this week by a report Monday inThe Los Angeles Times that Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate was in advanced talks to merge with the premium pay television network.
In February, Starz's largest shareholder, John Malone, the billionaire mogul who controls Liberty Media, was given a seat on Lionsgate's board after swapping some of his Starz shares for those of Lions Gate. A merger has been a topic of speculation given that the two companies are already involved in some production and distribution partnerships.
"[Lionsgate] is certainly interested in what our strategy is," Albrecht said. "We have done shows with them and we are talking about potential investments that we might do along with them. I would be foolish if we weren't talking about things we could do together that would benefit both companies and it doesn't have to relate to just Lionsgate or AMC (AMC - Get Report) .
Mergers involving Starz have become something of a parlor game, much to Albrecht's dissatisfaction. In
September, Starz was cited as near a deal to be acquired by AMC Networks (AMCX - Get Report) , creator of "Walking Dead" and Breaking Bad. Starz became a standalone company in 2012, and since then, its size has grown to a $4 billion market value.
Albrecht, a former head of Time Warner's (TWX) HBO, noted that a merger with any billion-dollar company is complicated.
"It takes an interest, a good strategy, conviction and then you have to try and make a deal," Albrecht said. "A lot of these companies have controlling shareholders. You can't end up with a combined company that has more than one controlling shareholder by definition. So there are a lot of complexities."
A merger between Lionsgate and Starz would benefit both companies. Lionsgate is known for its burgeoning TV production side, with hit shows including newly ended 1960s drama Mad Men for AMC and prison hit Orange Is the New Black for Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) .
Another venue for its output could boost profits. Starz's Hunger Games movie franchise is ending in November with the release of final installment Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2. Another source of profits would be a welcome boost to Starz's 57 million pay-TV subscribers and $1.7 billion revenue.
Lionsgate's films are contracted with Starz competitor Epix, the movie channel Lionsgate co-owns with Viacom (VIAB - Get Report) and MGM. But eventually Starz could gain access to that treasure trove of tentpole movies. So too has Starz aimed to bump up its programming following Disney's (DIS - Get Report) decision not to renew its output agreement.
Albrecht called the Lionsgate speculation "not really productive because it spikes the stock than the stock goes down."
That said, the CEO did state that he is acutely aware of both the financial and strategic benefits that come with combining companies.
"In a world where content is becoming more and more important, the ability to be a magnet for that content, I think, can be increased if you've got a potential combination that people are talking about. Also a Go To Market strategy for new products might be easier to create, support and market then maybe some of the standalone entities," Albrecht said.
According to a senior-level source cited by the LA Times, Albrecht will reportedly have an important position if a merger goes through.
Startz has been ramping up original scripted TV content -- ranging from fantasy fare Outlander to urban drama Power -- yet Albrecht admitted that a merger with the right company couldn't hurt.
"There are never too many smart people in a room," he said. "If you take two companies that are executing well and put them together you have more good ideas."