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Not So Fast, Netflix — Starz Re-Ups Sony Pictures Through 2021

11 Feb, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Premium TV license agreement was speculated to go to Netflix

Hollywood apparently isn’t completely living in Netflix’s world.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Starz Entertainment Feb. 11 said they have signed a new, multi-year agreement that extends their first-run output premium pay-TV license agreement through 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stifel Nicholas, in a note, said the deal was likely similar to Walt Disney Studios' $300 million per deal pact with Netflix.

As a result, Starz will have the exclusive pay-TV rights to Sony Pictures’ theatrical releases through 2021. The previous pact covered Sony Pictures’ movies released theatrically through 2016. Sony also releases its movies on street date to Redbox.

The agreement is a major victory for Starz, which lost its premium TV agreement with Disney (beginning in 2017) to Netflix. The subscription video-on-demand pioneer had sought Sony Pictures movies as well. Netflix had SVOD access to Sony titles through February 2012, when its landmark streaming deal with Starz expired.

Starz, since 2005, has been the exclusive premium TV licensee for Sony’s films, including titles from Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, TriStar, and Screen Gems. The new agreement provides movie content for all Starz platforms, including its linear Starz and Encore channels in standard-definition and HD, SVOD in standard-definition, HD On Demand and 3D On Demand, and online streaming services, including the recently launched Starz Play and Encore Play.

Sony Pictures titles coming in 2013 to Starz include The Amazing Spider-Man, 21 Jump Street, Zero Dark Thirty, The Vow, Men in Black 3 and Resident Evil: Retribution, among others.

“Starz will continue to offer the richest premium TV viewing experience for our subscribers and distributors for years to come thanks to Starz’s growing original programming slate, along with the robust lineup of new blockbuster Sony releases and our deep movie library,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement.

Netflix shares closed down 2% following weeks of surges.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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