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S&P places Lions Gate on Watch Negative following carriage dispute with Comcast

S&P Global Ratings placed Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s all ratings, including its B+ issuer credit rating, on Creditwatch with negative implications after Comcast Corp. announced it would drop Starz channels from its cable packages.

Eleven Starz and Encore channels would be dropped from its TV packages beginning Dec. 10, Comcast said in a statement on a customer website. On-demand content for the channels would be available until Dec. 31. Comcast told its Xfinity customers that Starz would remain available to them as a stand-alone subscription for $12 per month.

The Creditwatch placement reflects the risk that Lions Gate's current negotiations with Comcast will lead to an unfavorable outcome, S&P Global Ratings said Oct. 22, adding that Lions Gate could face "substantial revenue and earnings pressure" if Comcast removes Starz from its platform. This would lead Lions Gate to sustain leverage above the mid-5x area and weaken its cash flow generation.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.