Starz Stock Spikes in After-Hours Trading on Acquisition Rumors

16 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AMC Networks Said in Talks to Acquire John Malone’s Starz.

AMC Networks Inc., the cable community operator that owns exhibits together with “The Strolling Lifeless,” is again in talks to accumulate billionaire John Malone’s Starz, one other TV programmer, in accordance with individuals conversant in the matter. The preliminary discussions won’t end in an acquisition, stated the individuals, who requested to not be named as a result of the knowledge is personal. Bloomberg reported the preliminary talks, which come after a few abortive attempts by suitors to acquire Starz in the past year. “They probably ultimately need to combine with others at least from a bundler point of view, if not from an ownership point of view,” John Malone — Starz’s top individual investor — said last week. Starz has a market cap of $3.9B and an enterprise value that’s grown to more than $5B from $4B last year, during a period when it was often linked to Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF).

Starz, which owns the Starz and Encore premium film channels, could not come to phrases final yr with potential consumers, together with New York-based AMC Networks, due to variations over valuation, individuals with information of the matter stated final December. Starz said in a statement: “As per company policy, we do not comment on rumors or speculation.” But acquisition talk has surrounded Starz for the past few years, ever since it was spunoff from Liberty Media as a stand-alone public entity in late 2012. A combined AMC Networks and Starz would gain leverage in negotiating fees from pay-TV carriers, which have already paired off to lower costs as customers defect to online players like Netflix Inc.

Liberty chairman John Malone retains a sizable stake in Starz — a personal holding of Malone’s, separate from Liberty — and he has fueled Starz acquisition rumors with his recent moves. AMC Networks has lengthy been seen as a possible acquisition goal for media corporations due to its restricted scale, proudly owning the AMC channel, IFC, SundanceTV, WE TV and half of America.

A deal for Starz would give the corporate added clout in negotiations with pay-TV suppliers, lots of that are experimenting with skinny bundles that exclude much less well-liked channels. Malone told Bloomberg last week that he saw Starz as a “terrific, synergistic fit” with Lionsgate, although he emphasized that the ultimate decision would rest with the boards of both companies. Both AMC and Starz invest heavily in original series production and movie licensing pacts, so there’s a case to be made for the two coming together. And Starz has been on a roll of late with original series such as “Outlander,” “Power” and comedy “Blunt Talk” generating some pop culture traction for the flagship channel.

AMC Networks’ $5.3 billion market valuation has been aided by a run of hit programs, both with audiences and with critics. “Fear The Walking Dead,” a spinoff of its hit “The Walking Dead,” drew the largest-ever audience for a new cable series with 10.1 million viewers last month.

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How Star Wars: The Force Awakens Snuck In Three Very Special Cameos

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

A ‘Star Wars’ Refresher.

James Arnold Taylor, the voice actor who played Kenobi in the Clone Wars TV series, revealed on Twitter that director JJ Abrams roped in McGregor to overdub his voice. Ewan McGregor and Frank Oz reprise their iconic Star Wars roles during a scene in The Force Awakens that also brings back the voice of the late Alec Guinness.Those who saw the film this weekend (and those who haven’t may want to stop here) know that midway through the movie Daisy Ridley’s lonely scavenger Rey has a vision, a dream-like flashback sequence after she discovers Luke Skywalker’s long-lost lightsaber in the basement of Maz Kanata’s castle.Not another prequel to establish more back story, but an honest-to-Obi-Wan Kenobi extension of the saga begun by George Lucas long, long, ago in a decade far, far away.

As Rey touches it, she is hit with an impressionistic wave of images and sounds that depict a cloaked Luke Skywalker in mourning, reaching out for support (or to comfort) R2-D2 beside a fire. After a costly battle, Han and Leia – bickering as the romantic sparks fly – flee to the city of Bespin, where they see Han’s putative friend, Lando Calrissian. Fans streaming out of the Westminster 10 after the first screening in Thursday night were all smiles, and maybe a little bit in shock at the fact that they had actually seen a new “Star Wars” movie after all these years. “I can’t stop smiling,” said Erica Richardson, 30, of Anaheim as she chatted in the parking lot with two friends after watching “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Fans at the the AMC Downtown Disney 12 went all out for the opening, with many in costume as their favorite characters – even those from the brand new movie. Many believe this could mean that Rey’s parentage, which is currently unconfirmed, could lead back to Obi-Wan Kenobi, yet Taylor points out that Yoda is also heard in the flashback.

Those of us at the perfect age for this space opera’s rapturous mix of science fiction, real-life drama and unique alternative universe—I was 12—had no idea we’d be awaiting its latest sequel/prequel nearly 40 years later. But sensing that his friends are in trouble – they’ve been double-crossed by Lando, who turns them over to Darth Vader – Luke cuts short his training to rescue them. And you hear Obi-Wan at the end say, ‘Rey … these are your first steps,’” Abrams told EW. “The idea of the voices was, we wanted the audience to feel – but not necessarily be presented right in your face — this idea that familiar, Force-strong voices were connecting with her. Abrams and his co-screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt after a Writers Guild of America screening, and they revealed how – and why – that scene came together the way it did. The seventh film in the Star Wars series has received nearly universal acclaim in early reviews and aims to destroy any and all box-office records in its path.

During a climactic lightsaber duel above the city’s central core reactor shaft, Darth Vader severs Luke’s right hand, then – in one of the biggest reveals in cinematic history – informs Luke that he’s his father. Ranking those who carry the Force in the temporal world of professional sports can be as complex as any list of Star Wars characters who have mastered the make-believe world of film. Literally the coolest voice over actor ever.’ But it wasn’t just McGregor’s voice they used – they even cut a line from the original trilogy of Alec Guinness saying the word ‘afraid’ as Kenobi. Obscure tidbit: Contrary to popular belief, Darth Vader doesn’t say, “Luke, I am your father.” The actual quote is the much-less catchy “No, I am your father.” I felt joy,” he said. “It pays such a good homage to the old ‘Star Wars’ without hanging on to them too much.” But what about the next generation of “Star Wars” fans?

The power of the Force provides users with incomprehensible battle reflexes, the power to heal wounds, the power to relieve pain and the ability to even cheat death. I don’t know why I would have thought he sounded like Miss Piggy!” But Oz was more than willing to return to the jumbled syntax of Yoda. “He was very generous to say, ‘Whatever makes the movie better, I’m happy to help out,” Abrams said. Luke Walton continues his father’s journey toward Obi-Wan status by coaching the NBA’s most lethal Jedi in Golden State’s Stephen Curry on an interim basis. But Abrams says part of the appeal of the new trilogy will be spreading out those revelations. “Everyone who has seen these movies thinks about ‘I am your father …’ and ‘There is another …’,” the director said. “But neither of those things were in [1977’s original] Star Wars. When Newton was still a padawan, he threw a stolen computer out of a campus dorm window at the University of Florida and was subsequently arrested. (The charges were dropped after he completed a pre-trial diversion program and community service.) The Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn now hands footballs to children in the stands after he scores touchdowns.

But depending on one’s loyalty and preference, Curry and the Warriors used the Force against James to bring balance to the NBA’s universe last spring. In honoring Williams, SI’s Christian Stone wrote: “We are honoring Serena Williams too for reasons that hang in the grayer, less comfortable ether, where issues such as race and femininity collide with the games.” “Far past the time that anyone expected it, she demonstrated a capacity for change—innovation, if you will. Tyree blew up the Death Star or crushed the hopes of the light side—depending on one’s perspective—with his 32-yard helmet catch over Rodney Harrison in the fourth quarter.

Darth Vader has thrown out the first pitch at Wrigley Field (above in 2014), teams have dressed in Star Wars-themed uniforms and more than one professional athlete, including Aaron Rodgers, has shown his affinity for the film series. There were Galactic Games held on a different planet every seven years during the time of the Galactic Republic. “The Galactic Games Council was so influential that they even succeeded to make betting on the games illegal,” Veekhoven and De Lange wrote. Other sports include shockball, smashball, zoneball and wegsphere, which “features two teams playing in a low-gravity field where they have to place the ball into the opponent’s goal.” In the earth’s normal gravitational pull, certain athletic successes can appear to be the result of metaphysical forces, curses or simple luck.

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