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Big Media Merger: Lionsgate To Acquire Starz Cable Network

A big media merger has been announced between movie studio giant Lionsgate and premium cable network Starz. The merger, which consists of Lionsgate acquiring the premium cable network, comes on the heels of other major media mergers, which includes Comcast’s buyout of DreamWorks Animation.

Lionsgate has been known to supply major movies for the premium cable network Starz over the years. Now, the movie studio giant is about to acquire the premium cable network for $4.4 billion in an agreement that merges the two media giants and shores up the market in both sectors, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Big media mergers like this seem to be more common these days and there are possibilities for others to happen before the year is even up. Just before the announcement came down that Lionsgate was buying Starz, there was chatter in the industry that AMC networks were going to swallow Starz up. That could have possibly created a major powerhouse media merger that would have folded into one network, with both having major shows currently airing on television.

But that also has some industry executives wondering just how it would play out if AMC decided to find a merger with another media company. Perhaps a media company that could in fact already have some major shows on cable TV and has room for improvement. If there is one thing that is certain about AMC networks, they know how to locate and broadcast great content.

AMC Networks already has a great lineup of cable television channels that feature outstanding content. That includes AMC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC. But then again, major media studios like Lionsgate might also be in the market for a merger with AMC Networks, which could play out in several different ways.

AMC Networks currently has the biggest show on cable television, The Walking Dead. With other shows that are filling out their plate like Better Call Saul and Preacher, it is poised for tremendous growth through dedicated viewers to the network. Other shows that have spawned out of AMC includes Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Halt and Catch Fire.

Other big media mergers that could happen this year, or sometime soon, could be involved with the Scripps Network, which owns Food Network and HGTV, and other networks whose stock are taking nosedives. Both Lionsgate and Starz were actually falling in the stock market, so they are also on the table for that as well, should the merger be unsuccessful.

There is also the possibility of seeing a media company merger with Pandora and Twitter, both of which have not been doing so well with their stock. Considering Twitter has a market cap of $11.8 billion, it has not been fairing so well in the game. Of course rival social media company Facebook is not seeing much trouble, and there is always the possibility that they could buy up Twitter and create a social media super force in the market. Just considering the possibility of this happening could throw investors into turmoil, especially given that social media is such a hot and emerging market that is expanding its horizons every day.

But Facebook will have its work cut out for it if it is even thinking about buying up Twitter. At the table of interest right now for Twitter is both Google and News Corp. Both of those media companies seem like they are ripe for a fresh new merger to hit their tables.

There has been no word yet if there is any media company that is interested in a merger with Pandora. But that could also be a way of driving the price lower for those larger media companies who may be considering a merger with the internet music company.

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]