DirecTV Gets Streaming Rights to the ‘Starz’16 Apr, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Starz Entertainment and DirecTV April 16 said they have entered into a multi-platform distribution deal that allows the satellite TV operator for the first time to stream Starz movies and original series through its nascent DirecTV Everywhere platform.
In addition to studio movies distributed by Starz, the deal gives DirecTV access to the aggregator's origianl series, including "Spartacus" and "Magic City," among others.
The DirecTV Everywhere service, which is currently in beta, is intended for authenticated Starz Super Pack subscribers.
The new deal also renews DirecTV’s carriage deal for Starz Entertainment premium channels, high-definition, and on-demand services. In addition, the agreement enables DirecTV to launch Movieplex, Indieplex, and Retroplex, and the related Movieplex On Demand and Movieplex Online service on DirecTV Everywhere.
“Providing our Starz Super Pack subscribers with online access to their subscription content from Starz through DirecTV Everywhere later this year will bring even more value to our customers,” said Derek Chang, EVP, content strategy and development, DirecTV.
The streaming service is the No. 1 satellite operator's answer to burgeoning interest in subscription video-on-demand platforms spearheaded by Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus.
Starz, of course, helped jumpstart the appeal of SVOD in 2008 with a distribution agreement with Netflix. The $30 million annual pact afforded Netflix streaming access to Disney and Sony movies and was considered at the time nothing more than incremental revenue to Starz. It would later be characterized by some media executives as the steal of the century.
When Starz reportedly raised renewal of the SVOD agreement to $300 million annually, Netflix refused to accept and the pact ended in February.