Criterion Channel Lives! Founder Explains Going Solo After FilmStruck’s Death

Criterion Collection president Peter Becker knew FilmStruck’s death was imminent, weeks in advance of news reports late last October. And long before industry luminaries ranging from Martin Scorsese to Bill Hader sent up flares to save the Turner Classic Movies streaming platform, Becker and his peers had a contingency plan to save FilmStruck’s Criterion Channel.

“Our question wasn’t, ‘What other big service are we turning to?’” said Becker in an interview from Criterion’s Park Avenue offices. “Our first question was, ‘Is it time to start our own channel?’”

By mid-November, the company announced plans for a freestanding streaming service that would launch in spring 2019. The Criterion Channel, now available to subscribers on nearly every major platform for $10.99 a month or $99.99 a year, hit that deadline with ease. When the Criterion Channel went live April 8, it meant that 1,634 films from one of the world’s most-revered film
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