After Starz laid considerable groundwork in 2018 for the international expansion of its subscription streaming app, the Lionsgate-owned premium network and Bell Media have announced March 1 as the launch date in Canada.

The news about the rollout up north came just prior to Lionsgate reporting its quarterly earnings, where Starz is sure to be a major topic. It also included an updated stat from Bell, which said its Crave subscription service — which will house Starz — has reached 2.3 million subscribers. Last fall, Lionsgate said Starz had passed 3 million paid streaming customers in the U.S.

Also on March 1, pay-TV sibling Encore will rebrand as Starz on two linear channels and in pay-TV operators’ on-demand venues. (Encore became “Starz Encore” in the U.S. in 2016.)

A week after that, Starz will become available directly across Canada as an add-on to Crave for an extra $6 a month. The streaming service can be accessed via Crave.ca, the Crave app on iOS and Android, and Apple TV Generation 4. Additional platforms will roll out in the coming months, the companies said.

Crave, which re-launched in November 2018, also offers HBO, Showtime, Vice (which was originally founded as a magazine in Montreal), as well as movies and children’s programming.

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