|Launched||October 1, 1994|
|Owned by||Bell Media|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Formerly called||TMN Moviepix (1994-1996)|
The Movie Network Encore (2012-2018)
|Replaced||Encore Avenue (Western Canada; 2016)|
|Bell TV||304 Encore 1|
305 Encore 2
1257/839 Encore 1 HD
|Shaw Direct||240/258 Encore 1 (East/West)|
241/259 Encore 2 (East/West)
640/650 Encore 1 HD (East/West)
639/655 Encore 2 HD (East/West)
|Available on most Canadian cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|Bell Aliant Fibe TV||366 Encore 1|
367 Encore 2
578 Encore 1 HD
579 Encore 2 HD
|Bell Fibe TV||304 Encore 1|
305 Encore 2
1304 Encore 1 HD
1305 Encore 2 HD
|Bell MTS||215 Encore 1|
216 Encore 2
431 Encore HD
432 Encore 2 HD
|Optik TV||9431 Encore 1|
9432 Encore 2
431 Encore 1 HD
432 Encore 2 HD
|SaskTel||204 Encore 1|
205 Encore 2
|VMedia||307 Encore 1 HD|
308 Encore 2 HD
|Zazeen||174 Encore HD|
171 Encore 2
|Amazon Prime Channels||Over-the-top TV|
|Apple TV Channels||Over-the-top TV|
The channel launched in 1994 as TMN Moviepix, a sister service to The Movie Network (now the Crave pay TV network) carrying classic films; it carried this format under various names including Mpix and The Movie Network Encore. Under its current name and format launched in March 2019, the network also broadcasts select original programming from the U.S.-based Starz premium channel, pursuant to a partnership between Bell Media and Starz Inc. parent company Lionsgate announced in early 2018.
Starz is carried by various Canadian cable and satellite television providers, including Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Rogers Cable, Vidéotron, EastLink, Shaw, Telus and Cogeco; since the 2019 relaunch it has also been available on a direct-to-consumer basis as an addon to the Crave streaming service, as well as through Amazon Prime Video Channels and Apple TV Channels. Similarly to TMN/Crave, TMN Encore operated only in provinces east of the Ontario-Manitoba border until 2016, with Western Canada served by a similar service run by Movie Central known as Encore Avenue. With the shutdown of both services in 2016, Encore/Starz has since served the entirety of Canada.
The channel was launched on October 1, 1994 as TMN Moviepix; by 1996, its name was shortened to simply Moviepix. By 2001, the channel's name was shortened for the third time to simply Mpix. The channel was originally owned by Astral Communications (later Astral Media).
In an effort to re-align Mpix with The Movie Network brand, on August 20, 2012, Astral announced that it would be rebranding Mpix as The Movie Network Encore, or TMN Encore, on September 18, 2012. On the day of the rebrand, its multiplex channel MorePix was accordingly renamed TMN Encore 2; with the change, TMN Encore 2 also launched a high definition feed, which simulcasts its standard definition counterpart.
TMN Encore was also the only private broadcaster financing film preservation in Canada through its sponsorship of the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada (now defunct), and National Archives.
On March 4, 2013, the Competition Bureau approved the takeover of Astral Media by Bell Media. Bell filed a new application for the proposed takeover with the CRTC on March 6, 2013; the CRTC approved the merger on June 27, 2013.
On November 19, 2015, Corus Entertainment announced that as a result of a strategic review, it had decided to exit the pay television industry. The company announced that it would shut down Encore Avenue and Movie Central (which held a monopoly position in Western Canada, while TMN held a monopoly in the East), and work with Bell to transition existing subscribers to TMN Encore and The Movie Network respectively. The CRTC had quietly removed the regional restrictions from both services' licences earlier in the year.
On January 23, 2018, Bell Media announced that it had reached licensing agreements with Starz Inc. and Lionsgate, and that TMN Encore would be rebranded under the Starz brand in 2019, featuring its programming. Following TMN's rebranding as Crave in November 2018, the channel rebranded as just Encore (ironically, the original name of Starz's sister network, Starz Encore), keeping the same logo, as an interim name until the rebrand to Starz took place.
On February 7, 2019, Bell announced that Encore would be rebranded as Starz, which was effective March 1. Shortly thereafter, Starz will also become available on a direct-to-consumer basis as an add-on to the Crave streaming service, to be priced at $5.99 per month.
Starz operates as a separate service from Bell Media's other premium TV service Crave (formerly The Movie Network) and under a separate licence, though they shared consistent branding until November 2018. Subscribers to one of the two services through a traditional TV service provider do not necessarily have to subscribe to the other; however, Crave (as TMN) was very frequently sold together in a package with Encore, and some providers continue to offer Crave and Starz only as part of a combined package.
The service is also available on a direct-to-consumer basis (currently for $5.99 per month) through the following methods:
On most service providers, Starz provides two 24-hour multiplex channels, both of which are simulcast in both standard definition and high definition - as well as a subscription video-on-demand service (Encore on Demand). Encore broadcasts its primary and multiplex channels on an Eastern Time Zone schedule.
|Channel||Description and programming|
|Starz 1||The flagship channel; Starz 1 carries films from the 1970s to the 2000s, including blockbuster and critically acclaimed imported and domestic films, as well as select original programming from Starz. This channel was formerly known as MoviePix from 1994 to 2003; Mpix from 2003 to 2012; TMN Encore from 2012 to 2018; and Encore 1 from 2018 to 2019.|
|Starz 2||Starz 2 is a secondary channel that provides additional movie choice, which is counterprogrammed with Encore; this channel was originally known as MoviePix 2 from 1996 to 2001, and was later renamed Mpix Too from 2001 to 2004; MEscape from 2004 to March 31, 2008; MorePix from April 1, 2008 to September 23, 2012; TMN Encore 2 until November 1, 2018; and Encore 2 until March 1, 2019.|
For a time, Mpix was focused on classic thriller, suspense and action films, while MorePix focused on classic dramas and light-hearted movies. This distinction no longer seems to be in place and both channels now carry a variety of films from various genres and eras, though Encore 2 is more likely to carry older and/or less commercially successful films.
The high definition simulcast feed of The Movie Network Encore (previously separately branded as "TMN Encore HD" broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format. In addition to its main channel, Encore also operates a high definition simulcast feed of its multiplex channel Encore 2. The original HD channel initially operated as MHD from launch of the HD feed in January 2006 until April 1, 2008. Until September 2010, TMN Encore HD (at that time known as Mpix HD) alternated between simulcasts of Mpix and its multiplex channel MorePix; at that point it began simulcasting its main channel exclusively. A high definition simulcast of TMN Encore 2 was launched on September 23, 2012.
Encore operates a subscription video-on-demand television service called Encore on Demand, which is available at no additional charge to new and existing subscribers of Encore. The service, which launched on December 19, 2006, as Mpix on Demand, and later as TMN Encore on Demand, carries feature film content from the two linear Encore television channels. Encore on Demand's rotating program selection incorporates select new titles that are added each Friday, alongside existing program titles held over from the previous one to two weeks.
On February 27, 2013, The Movie Network Encore launched TMN Encore GO as a section of TMN GO, TMN's website and mobile app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, which carries feature film content available for streaming in standard or high definition. TMN Encore GO was initially available to TMN Encore subscribers of Bell TV, Bell Fibe TV, Cogeco Cable and Rogers Cable.
TMN GO (including TMN Encore GO) was discontinued on November 1, 2018 in connection with the relocation of TMN programming to Crave. Encore's classic film library was not immediately migrated to Crave or its apps, but remained available through service provider-specific video-on-demand websites/apps where it was already available; some recent Starz programming had already been added to Crave's base service as a "limited-time offering". With Encore's relaunch as Starz, all of the service's programming will be accessible on-demand via the Crave platform; Starz content already available as part of Crave's base level will remain there, but any new seasons or other Starz series going forward will require a subscription to the Starz addon.
The majority of the program content offered by the Starz channels is in the form of classic films. For a time while under the Mpix and TMN Encore names, the channel offered a limited amount of television series in the form of pop culture-related series on the topic of films and filmmaking including:
Following the January 2018 announcement of Bell's partnership with Starz, Encore began airing selected original programming from that service in advance of a full relaunch scheduled for March 2019. Subsequent to the full relaunch, the service will also begin carrying other library series that were produced for other channels by Lionsgate, including Nurse Jackie.
Similar to Crave's output deals with HBO and Showtime, the Bell/Starz partnership covers new and most library series produced and fully owned by Starz and Lionsgate. The Canadian Starz channel has also reclaimed the season premiere rights to some pre-existing series such as Power, past seasons of which first aired on Super Channel, Starz' previous Canadian partner. However, Super Channel retained the premiere rights to The Spanish Princess (a sequel to The White Queen and The White Princess, both of which have since repeated on Starz in Canada). Certain other series commissioned by Starz but distributed internationally by other companies, such as Outlander (produced by Sony and carried in Canada by W Network and Netflix) and American Gods (for which Amazon Video holds worldwide rights outside the U.S.), were not affected at all by this change.
From December 1994 to February 2019, Moviepix / Mpix / Encore primarily aired a rotation of classic films from Sony Pictures, Fox, Warner Bros., Universal Studios, and Paramount Pictures, and their respective labels.
Following the relaunch as Starz, the channel continues to air classic films from the aforementioned studios, however a large proportion of the channel's film library now comes from the catalogue of Starz parent company Lionsgate.