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TV network Starz plans to sell its stream directly to consumers who don’t have a credit card

Not everyone who wants premium television can afford a monthly subscription.

Asa Mathat for Vox Media

Starz has been experimenting with different ways of offering premium television, diversifying from the traditional model where viewers need to already have a cable subscription and then pay for a premium extra channel on top of that.

Now people can get Starz programming through Amazon, for example, paying less than $10 a month without also having a large cable bill. But Starz is trying to make its programming even more accessible.

“We’re going to start to offer prepaid cards to be able to buy Starz,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht on the Code Media conference stage at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, Calif. “There are a lot of people who would like to have premium television but certainly can’t afford it with a cable bundle. It’s a prepaid card for people who don’t have credit cards.”

Albrecht said he hopes to roll out prepaid cards at the beginning of this year, adding that they’ll work like the prepaid iTunes cards that can be bought with cash in the checkout lines of retail stores.

Prior to Starz, Albrecht was the CEO of HBO, where he oversaw the subscription network’s first golden age of television shows with hits like “The Sopranos,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Sex in the City.” Last summer, Lionsgate acquired Starz for $4.4 billion.

This article originally appeared on

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