Comcast today is removing Starz from all programming packages, and making the premium channel available as an a la carte offering for $5 a month.

The two companies last December signed a new carriage agreement that called for Starz to be removed from all basic subscriber plans. However, Comcast and Starz agreed to keep the channel in the plans until the finish of the sixth and final season of Power (pictured above).

The drama wrapped on Sunday, February 9, setting the stage for the new carriage arrangement.

Starz, the home of such shows as Power, Outlander and American Gods, is now available on Comcast as a separate service for $5 a month, although subscribers in some plans may need to pay $8.99 a month.

(Check your Comcast account for ordering instructions and pricing details. The cable operator says Starz can be ordered via the X1 set-top using the voice remote, or online.)

The Starz package will include Starz, StarzEncore, StarzEncore Westerns, StarzEncore Black, StarzEncore Action, Starz On Demand and StarzEncore On Demand.

Starz Edge, Starz in Black, Starz Comedy, Starz Cinema and Starz Kids & Family channels are no longer offered, but all Starz On Demand content remains available for these channels.

Before the new Starz agreement was announced, Comcast added EPIX to its programming packages, effectively replacing one premium service (Starz) with another (EPIX.) The Epix service includes EPIX, EPIX 2, EPIX Hits, EPIX Drive-in and EPIX On Demand.

Comcast says at its web site that the decision to remove Starz from programming packages was based on program acquisition costs and lineup variety.

“We regularly review our programming and sometimes make changes to ensure we’re offering a wide variety of programming at the best value. We look at a variety of factors, including customer viewership and programming costs, when making these decisions. Per a new programming agreement with Starz, we are removing (Starz) from the packages and it will now only be available by a la carte subscription,” the company states.

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— Phillip Swann