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STARZ!, NEW PREMIUM CHANNEL, LAUNCHES TONIGHT WITH UNPRECEDENTED SUPPORT FROM MAJOR HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

February Schedule Includes 1993 Oscar Winners `Scent of a Woman' and
 `The Crying Game'; Promises More Movies For Less Money
 LOS ANGELES, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- ENCORE Media Corp. has agreements which will make available over $2.3 billion of programming for Starz!, the first new premium pay channel to launch in over a decade. The company has made a major commitment to quality programming by securing the rights to the biggest and most popular first-run releases from major studios: Universal Studios, Disney's Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax, New Line Cinema and Carolco Pictures.
 Universal Studios' Academy Award-winning "Scent of a Woman," starring Al Pacino will kick off the introduction of Starz! on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. EST/PST. In addition to "Scent," Starz! will also debut Spike Lee's controversial love story, "Jungle Fever" Saturday, Feb. 5. Miramax's, "The Crying Game," will follow on Saturday, Feb. 26.
 For only $4.95 a month, subscribers can get Starz! as well as ENCORE, a premium service featuring hit movies of the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Starz! will be available to more than 9 million homes in 47 states served by Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) cable systems.
 According to John J. Sie, chairman and chief executive officer, ENCORE Media Corp., Starz! will be the logical choice for viewers looking for quality films on television. "Technological advances have afforded the public a multitude of choices in television viewing. However, the arrangements Starz! has forged with America's preeminent movie studios will enable us to compete very effectively for viewers' attention. We are confident that Starz! will bring back former premium customers and add more choice and value for current premium subscribers."
 In addition to last year's Oscar-winning films that debut on Starz!, 1994's leading contenders will also be seen exclusively on the network. Pacino's newest hit, "Carlito's Way" and the emotional political drama "In The Name of The Father" starring Daniel Day-Lewis (both are Universal releases) will debut on Starz!, as will the already acclaimed "The Piano" with Holly Hunter ("Best Actress," Cannes Film Festival) and Harvey Keitel, and the front-runner for "Best Foreign Film," "Farewell My Concubine" (both from Miramax).
 Other Universal releases that have been secured by Starz! include the aforementioned "Scent of a Woman" and "Jungle Fever" as well as the poignant "Lorenzo's Oil" starring Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon, "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" and the B-movie spoof "Matinee" with John Goodman.
 In addition to "The Piano" and "Farewell My Concubine," some of the other Miramax films that have been licensed to Starz! include "The Crying Game," director Quentin Tarantino's powerful debut "Reservoir Dogs," the Australian smash "Strictly Ballroom," the romantic "Like Water For Chocolate" and the mystical "Into the West" starring Gabriel Byrne and Ellen Barkin.
 Among the New Line Cinema releases scheduled for 1994 theatrical release that will be available to Starz! in 1995 are the exciting action-drama "8 Seconds" starring Luke Perry, Cynthia Geary and Stephen Baldwin; the family comedy "Monkey Trouble," with Harvey Keitel and Mimi Rogers; "House Party 3" with Kid 'N Play; Bruce Brown's "The Endless Summer II"; "Corrina, Corrina" starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ray Liotta; "The Mask" with Jim Carrey; "In the Mouth of Madness" with Sam Neill and "Surviving the Game" with Rutger Hauer, Ice-T, Charles S. Dutton and F. Murray Abraham. Additionally, The Walt Disney Studios has licen ?pay television rights to their Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures releases for exhibition on Starz!. The Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures agreements will not begin until 1997; the Miramax arrangement begins immediately. In all ENCORE/Starz! has acquired the right to exhibit over 360 Disney films over the next 10 years, making this the biggest single pay television agreement in Hollywood history.
 Starz! will be offered initially on cable systems owned by Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI). Starz! will be available for wider distribution in the future. TCI is the nation's largest cable operator, serving 10.5 million subscribers in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Financial backing for Starz! is being provided by TCI.
 Starz! will be known officially as Starz!-ENCORE 8, part of ENCORE's multiplex movie service, which also includes six thematic multiplex premium channels scheduled for launch later this year: Love Stories-ENCORE 2, Westerns-ENCORE 3, Mystery-ENCORE 4, Tweens-ENCORE 5, Action-ENCORE 6, True Stories & Drama-ENCORE 7.
 ENCORE Media Corp. is owned by Liberty Media Corp. and JJS Communications Inc. ENCORE is currently received by 4.5 million customers nationwide.
 -0- 2/1/94
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Photo accompanying this release moved on AP PhotoExpress Network at 9:25 p.m. EST on Feb. 1 -- see photo PRN2.
 A photo of Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman, Miramax Films; Robert Shaye, chairman and CEO, New Line Cinema; actress Holly Hunter; Sidney Sheinberg, president and CEO, MCA Inc.; and John J. Sie, chairman and CEO, ENCORE Media Corp. at today's press conference is also available via Wieck Photo DataBase to any newspaper or media outlet with telephoto receiver, or electronic dark room (PC or Macintosh) that can accept overhead transmissions. To electronically retrieve photo free of charge, call 214-416-3686./
 /CONTACT: Rachel McCallister or Scott Grogin, 213-939-5991, or John Murphy, 212-614-6780, all of Rachel McCallister & Associates; or Lesley Barnes of ENCORE, 303-771-7700/


CO: ENCORE Media Corp. ST: California IN: ENT SU:

JB-MF -- LA057 -- 8502 02/01/94 21:31 EST
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Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 1, 1994
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