Lionsgate and Starz join forces to compete with HBO, Netflix

For $4.4 billion, you could've bought Starz yourself.

Associated Press

In an effort to compete with the likes of HBO and Netflix, Lionsgate Entertainment and Starz are joining forces. The former is picking up the latter for $4.4 billion in cash and stock, according to The LA Times. The deal seems mutually beneficial. With it, Starz gets some industry cachet (and a bunch of cash) that could help it attract projects that'd otherwise go toward HBO and Netflix. If that means more like the fantastic Ash vs Evil Dead, hey, alright.

Lionsgate, on the other hand, might have a homegrown streaming destination for its own properties instead of inking exclusivity agreements with outsiders. Like the one it's in with Epix at the moment, for instance. Of course, that could draw the ire of customers accustomed to watching Mad Men (a Lionsgate property) on Netflix, but let's hope it doesn't come to that.