Starz Pulls The Plug On Netflix Streaming

Starz Leaves Talks To Renew Licensing Contract With Netflix

Netflix To Lose Streaming Rights To Disney, Sony Pictures, And More

This month, Netflix is implementing the much-talked-about price hikes for customers who want to use both company’s original disc-by-mail service and its increasingly popular online-streaming service, which until recently was offered as a free bonus to millions of Netflix subscribers. It has been widely reported that the price increases were put into action to help cover the skyrocketing licensing fees that Netflix must pay the studios in order to stream digital video transfers of their movies and TV shows. But now Netflix is losing one of the biggest contributors to its online video arsenal.

Starz, the premium movie channel that owns the streaming rights for movies from several major studios including Disney and Sony Pictures, has recently announced that it has pulled out of talks to renew its licensing agreement with Netflix. When the current contact expires on February 28th of next year, Netflix will be forced to remove a substantial portion of its online content from the “Watch Instantly” library. According to Starz, the decision is part of a strategy to “protect the premium nature” of the Starz brand, and to preserve “the appropriate pricing and packaging of (its) exclusive and highly valuable content.” Starz cited both its studio rights and its “growing original programming presence” as assets that needed protecting from potential value loss, and stated that the network remains “in an excellent position to evaluate new opportunities and expand its overall business.”

Despite the clarity of Starz’s statement, some analysts suggest that the decision to end contract renewal negotiations with Netflix is merely a bargaining chip for Starz. It may be too early to determine whether Starz actually intends to break ties with Netflix, but it certainly isn’t the first time that Netflix has seen a content supplier threaten to pull the plug on its digital video transfers, only to sign another licensing contract with a high price tag attached. Starz claims to be in an “excellent position” to pursue other opportunities, but many analysts believe that neither company can survive in this market without the other, and that Netflix subscribers who are afraid of losing access to movies like “Tangled” and original shows like “Camelot” and “Torchwood” shouldn’t panic just yet. There is however one bit of wisdom that we can take from this situation: it certainly is getting tougher for Netflix to secure licensing rights for streaming content.

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Starz Pulls The Plug On Netflix Streaming”

  1. Riley says:

    I could have survived without the Starz content on Netflix because I don’t watch much from them. I don’t even subscribe to their programming through my provider and employer. The main reason I dropped Netflix was because they don’t really have the best selection of DVD’s, their streaming is getting a bit dated as well, and they raised their prices without adding more. My provider DISH Network and Blockbuster were offering the Blockbuster Movie Pass, and I thought I would give it a try, since it is only $10 a month, and I trust Blockbuster. For that $10 a month, I get DVD exchanges in-store and by mail, streaming to my DVR or computer, 20 channels on my lineup, plus video games and Blu-rays (which Netflix always charged extra for)! For now, the Blockbuster Movie Pass is only available to DISH Network subscribers, but since Blockbuster listens to customers, they are working on making the service available for those who don’t have a TV service. Blockbuster is just better, and I don’t think I’ll miss Netflix much. If Starz makes an app, they won’t get any support from me.

  2. Gman says:

    Honestly you’re the first website that I have seen that neither Netflix nor Starz can survive without the other. Many websites are suggesting that Starz is making such a demand for so much money because the number of Netflix subscribers streaming signifies a large portion of people who have cut the cord, a loss in revenue far greater than what they loose from dumping Netflix. Since DISH bought Blockbuster it only makes sense they would enhance the value of their satellite service with an offering like Blockbuster. The Blockbuster Movie Pass will be a great addition to my employee service that I can’t wait to take advantage of. I bet there are even people scrambling to get it free for 12 months starting Oct. 1st because no one else has an offer like that out there now.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.