Starz won't renew streaming movie agreement with Netflix

Netflix, which is already dealing with the backlash against a price increase for some of its subscribers, was hit with another major blow today. The Starz pay cable network announced that it won't renew its current three year contract with Netflix. The contract allows Netflix to stream most of Starz's movie and television show line up. Today, Starz announced that agreement will end on February 28, 2012.

In its statement Starz says, "This decision is a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content. With our current studio rights and growing original programming presence, the network is in an excellent position to evaluate new opportunities and expand its overall business." Netflix has not yet commented on Starz's decision.  However shares of Netflix's stock went down 9 percent in after hours trading following the Starz press release.

Netflix got a big boost when it signed its streaming deal with Starz in October 2008. The deal allowed Netflix to give its streaming customers access to a  number of major Hollywood movies from Disney, Sony and others. The deal helped to make the streaming service more attractive to consumers. In 2010 Netflix announced another new multi-year deal to show movies from another pay cable channel, Epix, that offers films from Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate.

Starz's announcement comes on the same day that new subscriber rates go into effect at Netflix. Subscribers who use the streaming service plus one DVD mail order rental at a time will now have to pay $15.98 per month, over 60 percent higher from its previous price.

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33 Comments

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This is really bad. I enjoyed Spartacus: Blood & Sand and Pillars of the Earth. For now I'll continue to enjoy older shows on streaming like "The Larry Sanders Show".

No starz will put a huge dent in Netflix.. especially for some of the more current kids movies / disney features and more "prime" releases. (not that starz is that great, but oh well)

Hopefully netflix can sue content companies for being anti competitive... that may be their best hope.

spudtrooper said,
No starz will put a huge dent in Netflix.. especially for some of the more current kids movies / disney features and more "prime" releases. (not that starz is that great, but oh well)

Hopefully netflix can sue content companies for being anti competitive... that may be their best hope.

LOL! How would Netflix argue in court? "Your honor, they are not giving us the content ,they paid to produce, at the price we deem to be fair."

Studios pay to have original content created. Netflix ONLY streams that content. They do absolutely nothing besides that.

God damnit!!!! The ONLY reason I was keeping streaming on Netflix was cause of StarzPlay and I was dropping starz from my Sat package. So bye bye Netflix streaming.... just isn't worth it now and EPIX movies are too good in HD vs the converted content of netflix streaming so the hell with it.

if only Netflix added a PORN section than maybe there won't bee any money issues to pay off this greedy cable networks and movie industries.

Premium brand? They were sub-SD quality movies on Netflix instant streaming. They can keep it. I dropped instant streaming this month with the price increase anyway.

If Netflix has the cash they might have to purchase a network like Starz or other network to increase their own ability to produce content. This might be a big deal as more networks try to continue the expensive use of their content.

The truth is, when your content comes on DVD or Bluray I'm not likely to commit anymore money and you better have something fresh... but make it easy for me to stream and I will come back to it again. This is a pattern I see myself caught in... but I feel you ahve a small opportunity to catch me, because once I break free... hope there are not scores of people like me...

i just went over to the stars website... it doesn't look like this is a big loss for me personally. i dont' watch their crappy shows.

Well there's another reason for me to not renew Netflix. >.<

I'm personally holding out hope that HBO/Showtime will eventually allow consumers to buy subscriptions to their content without having to deal with the cable/satellite companies. HBO Go was kind of a baby step in that direction, and now stuff like this is kind of a giant step backwards.

Amarok said,
Well there's another reason for me to not renew Netflix. >.<

I'm personally holding out hope that HBO/Showtime will eventually allow consumers to buy subscriptions to their content without having to deal with the cable/satellite companies. HBO Go was kind of a baby step in that direction, and now stuff like this is kind of a giant step backwards.


HBO Go must be preparation for the decline in cable subscribers. We will have it sooner or later

So, this looks like soon there will nothing to stream on Netflix soon so does this mean when it happens it will automatically change 1 DVD at a time for $7.99? And the movie industry and cable networks wonder why they are not doing so well *******s.

In other words, Starz feels that they can offer their own streaming service and reap more profits. Too bad they can't realize that Netflix will continue to have a larger base of subscribers thus giving Starz a larger base than if they go it alone.

Hey Starz your premium high end content is worth crap compared to what you want. Piracy it is then, already dumped netflix as the Online Selection was lacking.

You actually had to have the 8.99 pay tier or higher to get the starz stuff (on their old payment plan). I tried to move down once to save some money and quickly found out it wasn't worth it.

Until these idiot pigs learn to price their content accordingly, I'll just watch it for free.

The irony is, before NF upped their prices I was completely legit using their service.

Greasy said,
Until these idiot pigs learn to price their content accordingly, I'll just watch it for free.

The irony is, before NF upped their prices I was completely legit using their service.

They are doing what is right. They are attempting to get as much as they can for their stuff. There is nothing wrong with that.

It isn't an excuse to steal it...

Frazell Thomas said,

They are doing what is right. They are attempting to get as much as they can for their stuff. There is nothing wrong with that.

It's a problem when the big 5 studios are acting in collusion with one another on pricing, movie release dates, ticket prices, etc. etc. There isn't any real competition between the studios. The act as a division of the same company, MegaCorp Entertainment Inc.

If there was real competition, then the consumer ultimate benefits from these changes. But their isn't, so these changes are designed to RESTRICT access to content by consumers...which is definitely a bad thing for all us us.

gate1975mlm said,
This very well may be the begining of the end for Netflix!
I was thinking the same thing. I cancelled my subscription yesterday since I wasn't up for paying higher prices for their limited streaming movie selection. Now I feel assured in my decision. If they lose Starz then they'll have a hell of a time attracting any other premium content providers which will ultimately cost them as noticeable portions of their subscriber base jump ship after Feb 2012. It's too bad really. I like the idea but the content needs to improve.

Tim Dawg said,
I was thinking the same thing. I cancelled my subscription yesterday since I wasn't up for paying higher prices for their limited streaming movie selection. Now I feel assured in my decision. If they lose Starz then they'll have a hell of a time attracting any other premium content providers which will ultimately cost them as noticeable portions of their subscriber base jump ship after Feb 2012. It's too bad really. I like the idea but the content needs to improve.

I also cancelled my subscription yesterday for the same reasons. Pay more and get less is not a great business model. I completed their cancellation questionnaire and thought it was interesting that they only had pre-canned answers... none of which stated 'due to price increase' and they didn't offer any open text areas.

Well, they can be sure that I'm not paying $30 a month to watch movies they choose and tell me when to watch them.

I wonder if Netflix will consider adjusting their pricing. The cost of Starz renewal was apparently one of the reasons they increased the rates so much.

So all the studios will be left to blame when the netflix streaming deal is killed and we all have to resort to pirating again. Good job guys.

shakey said,
So all the studios will be left to blame when the netflix streaming deal is killed and we all have to resort to pirating again. Good job guys.

Couldn't agree more. I pay for music (Spotify) and movies (Netflix). Once content is lacking, I guess I'm going back to my old habits.