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Starz will not renew its distribution deal with Netflix in February 2012  (Source:
Starz released a statement that said it would not renew its distribution deal with Netflix when it expires next February, which means Netflix will lose Disney and Sony-related programming from its library

Earlier this year, Netflix was sitting pretty with favorable financial results and 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic in North America, which made it the largest source of Internet traffic overall. The on-demand Internet streaming and DVD rental service even led Blockbuster to file bankruptcy and made Hollywood executives shake in their boots.

But in recent months, Netflix has lost some of that spark after announcing that it was changing its plans and prices. Instead of paying $9.99 per month for unlimited video streaming as well as DVD rentals, the two would be separated into their own monthly plans for $7.99 each. If a user wants to continue receiving both video streaming and DVD rental-by-mail, the monthly fee is $15.98. These changes just went into effect today.

Customers were outraged, but Netflix explained that it had to raise prices in order to afford hundreds of millions of dollars in streaming rights from movie studios and television networks. Of course, Netflix must pay these prices in order to build its streaming library legally.

Now, Netflix has some new problems on its hands. Satellite TV channel Starz released a statement that said it would not renew its distribution deal with Netflix when it expires next February, which means Netflix will lose Disney and Sony-related programming from its library.

The following is Starz's statement:

Starz Entertainment has ended contract renewal negotiations with Netflix. When the agreement expires on February 28, 2012, Starz will cease to distribute its content on the Netflix streaming platform. 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.

While Netflix has been running its service without Sony programming since June due to a contract violation, Netflix described it as temporary.

The split could mean that someone else will end up with Starz's digital rights, such as DISH Network or Amazon, both of which are building digital video libraries. Another option would be for Starz to create its own digital extension.

The following is Netflix's response to Starz's statement:

Starz has been a great content partner since 2008 and we are thankful for their support.

While we regret their decision to let our agreement lapse next February, we are grateful for the early notice of their decision, which will give us time to license other content before Starz expires.

While Starz was a huge part of viewing on Netflix several years ago because it was some of the only mainstream content Netflix offered, over the years Netflix has spent more and more licensing great TV shows from all four broadcast networks and many cable networks, and we have licensed 1st run movies from Relativity, MGM, Paramount, Lionsgate and others. Because we’ve licensed so much other great content, Starz content is now down to about 8% of domestic Netflix subscribers’ viewing. As we add even more content in Q4, we expect Starz content to naturally drift down to 5-6% of domestic viewing in Q1. We are confident we can take the money we had earmarked for Starz renewal next year, and spend it with other content providers to maintain or even improve the Netflix experience.

We have tremendous respect for the Starz creative team, and we look forward to someday licensing some of their original or licensed content.

Netflix shares fell 9 percent in after-market trading after Starz released its statement.

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Doesn't make much of a difference.
By monstergroup on 9/1/2011 10:01:42 PM , Rating: 3
I can't say it matters much, most of the streaming selection was garbage anyway aside from the documentary selection which in my opinion is Netflix's diamond in the rough.

RE: Doesn't make much of a difference.
By Brandon Hill on 9/1/2011 10:10:44 PM , Rating: 5
Yup, their selection of movies SUCKS. I had a itch to watch some Sho-nuff action with "The Last Dragon" tonight. Alas, it's not available on Netflix streaming!

Jigga please!

RE: Doesn't make much of a difference.
By talozin on 9/1/2011 11:16:18 PM , Rating: 5
Netflix streaming is great for people who often find themselves saying, "Man, I'd like to watch a movie." It is a constant frustration for people who find themselves saying, "Man, I'd like to watch that movie."

Their selection of movies is good enough that I can almost always find something that looks like it'd be fun to watch. But it has a long way to go.

RE: Doesn't make much of a difference.
By mcnabney on 9/2/2011 9:37:44 AM , Rating: 2
Dead on.

There is always something worth streaming, but if you are looking for something in particular it is unlikely that they will have it.

/I have 23 items in my queue now. Only one is available to stream

RE: Doesn't make much of a difference.
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 9:48:31 AM , Rating: 4
The only that annoys me is how some extremely old movies aren't available to stream that they offer on their DVD service.

Tron, Blazing Saddles, Ghostbusters (strangely Ghostbusters 2 is available), etc

RE: Doesn't make much of a difference.
By Mitch101 on 9/2/2011 11:38:43 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know if its the Movie Studios or Netflix thats making those decisions on whats available for streaming. Probably a mix of both.

I suspect they feel if they make it difficult enough it will convince you to buy the movie or join both programs. One hit movie streamed and the other goes dvd rental.

But those movies you mention have replay value to me so when I see them on sale I pick them up. If you narrow it down to movies really worth owning that have true replay value its only a handful every year even then I try to only buy the disc that has directors edition and tons of bonus material when its under $12.00

By mcnabney on 9/2/2011 4:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
My theory is that Netflix only contracts to stream the absolutely cheapest content possible. If a studio wants a premium for streaming, Netflix won't get it. That is why there is a lot there now, but not a lot that you actually want to see.

Kind of like going to a grocery store and the only items available are generics and store brands.

By JW.C on 9/5/2011 1:38:03 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that Starz wants to do a streaming website like HBOgo. I am not sure if it will make them more money, but it will provide better internet TV choices for some of us.

RE: Doesn't make much of a difference.
By theslug on 9/1/2011 11:32:44 PM , Rating: 4
I don't get why people keep complaining about the selection like this is still 2007 or something. Clearly they have not actually browsed through it to any reasonable extent. I have 200+ titles on my instant queue.

If you want an easier way to find things, use

By SiliconJon on 9/2/2011 9:21:26 AM , Rating: 2
It must be nice to be such a cheap date ;)

I was hoping their subscription changes would improve the selection, but I've seen no such change and would even say it seems the on demand selection has worsened per my own movie watching desires.

I don't like my couch anyway.

RE: Doesn't make much of a difference.
By woody1 on 9/2/2011 10:55:55 AM , Rating: 2
I have 479 movies in my DVD queue and 399 in my instant watch. I find lots of good stuff to watch. What's missing is the latest releases, of course, but who cares about when a movie was released? A good movie is good whether it's old or new.

By Schrag4 on 9/2/2011 11:13:05 AM , Rating: 2
A good movie is good whether it's old or new.

While I agree, as others have said, I quite often get an itch to watch a specific movie. Usually the movie I have in mind is between 5 and 10 years old. No matter what I want to watch, it always seems to be DVD only.

I'm beginning to think we should become a RedBox-only family. If it weren't for the massive kids' content available instantly, we probably would drop NetFlix.

By Shadowmaster625 on 9/2/2011 2:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
wow whichflicks looks pretty nice. I cant stand browsing netflix. I like to use rt to find what movies might be worth watching. whichflicks looks like it does all the work for me!

By cruisin3style on 9/2/2011 3:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I've got a long list (probably a little over 100) of mostly TV shows that I check out in my free time, and some movies and documentaries sprinkled in there for good measure. You just have to look around.

By AstroCreep on 9/2/2011 6:43:00 AM , Rating: 2
...I know you ain't hatin' on Bruce Leroy!

By therealnickdanger on 9/2/2011 8:49:48 AM , Rating: 2
I got somethin' real for yo ass in these hands! What a great movie. Sad that Kanye West and hipster youths feel compelled to wear his signature shades in public.

By ssjwes1980 on 9/2/2011 5:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
I watched it on Netflix before some shows/movies come and go on the streaming side. Ive noticed alot of stuff Ive watched there before are sometimes available for streaming sometimes not.

By kattanna on 9/2/2011 9:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
aye.. so if its not available via streaming it will go on my DVD queue. big deal.

By Hiawa23 on 9/2/2011 8:25:07 PM , Rating: 3
I have been a netflix member since day 1, I changed my subscription from Bluray + streamin to bluray only. Streamin I rarely used, & I would rather have the DVD + Bluray for $14.99 2 out at a time than the streamin, most of which isn't good. The way I look at it anything available for streamin If I want to see I can just add the dvd or bluray to my Q, & the movies get to me the next day so waiting is not an issue.

I hope they go the HBO GO route
By stm1185 on 9/1/2011 10:31:31 PM , Rating: 3
Where they would create an online site, and apps for mobile devices, to view all current Starz programming and original series. Then give access to the site and apps to any Starz subscriber for no extra charge.

I have been using HBO GO a lot and it has in my opinion quadrupled the value of the subscription. I think it is the future for pay cable tv; get people online and using your apps with their subscription then in the future drop the cable/satellite requirement.

RE: I hope they go the HBO GO route
By Salisme on 9/2/2011 7:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
That is great in all but eventually what is going to happen is each major provider is going to start doing this and what we are going to have to "Cable TV Go", in which we end up paying $200 a month to 6-8 different content providers and we are right back where we started.

We are going to have to get a subscription to HBO, Stars, WB, SONY, Disney, NBC, we are going to get nickeled and dimed so bad that cable TV packages are going to seem like a gift.

I foresee sites like amazon having the same thing happen to them when new contract time rolls around.

By bupkus on 9/2/2011 9:04:17 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like competition in the marketplace to me.

RE: I hope they go the HBO GO route
By Denigrate on 9/2/2011 9:17:42 AM , Rating: 2
Not likely. What you describe would fail in a hurry. Consumers want more choice at a lower price, and would not pony up for the BS you describe even if it were the only option.

By Salisme on 9/3/2011 8:33:37 AM , Rating: 2
Starz was hoping Netflix would charge a premium price for its content so the video streaming/DVD-by-rental service would be more "in line" with cable and satellite providers like DirecTV and Time Warner Cable, since these relationships are important to Starz.


See, I saw this coming. I'm not saying it is not going to fail, I'm saying this is where the providers want to go.

RE: I hope they go the HBO GO route
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 9:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
I would gladly pay $2-4 a month for content from each provider I actually want rather than $100 month to get the same thing and have to pay for the 1000+ other crap I don't want.

I watch about 10 channels not counting networks I can get for free OTA. That's $40 tops a month. Perfectly reasonable. I'll even pay a dollar or two for instant access to new shows on OTA networks online so I don't have to set up my own DVR in case I miss a show.

Looking to enter the cable free world next year. Will be interesting to see how much I can get legitimately without cable and at what savings. If I come in under $1200 a year, I'm saving money.

RE: I hope they go the HBO GO route
By WiseUp216 on 9/2/2011 10:10:43 AM , Rating: 2
I have been cable-free since late 2004. One way or another, I've managed to see all the content that I desired.

Before I cut the cord, I was paying something like $120.00 a month for cable and internet. Since then, I've paid less than half of that. I have never regretted it once.

The only real downside is, for example, streaming a show off of A&E's website isn't going to have the picture quality of digital cable. Eh, so it goes.

Re: Netflix, I unsubscribed last month. It wasn't because of the price increase, but the failed promises of more (and better) movies. You know it is getting bad when I can't justify 8 bucks per month.

RE: I hope they go the HBO GO route
By WiseUp216 on 9/2/2011 10:13:04 AM , Rating: 2
Also, I like the looks I get from people when they see rabbit ears on top of my 50" plasma.

RE: I hope they go the HBO GO route
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 10:43:04 AM , Rating: 2
I will be getting a high def antenna as well. I plan to keep Netflix streaming and sign up with Hulu Plus once I cut the cord. For NFL football season I'll do Sunday Ticket through the PS3. For college football I'm trying to see about my ISP's plans to get access to ESPN3.

By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 10:45:09 AM , Rating: 2
I can get Comcast at my house but I'd much rather have my current ISP since I get far higher upload speeds and guaranteed speeds up and down. No "up to" language in my speeds. In over a year I have never gotten less than 1.7MB/s download/upload through my connection. Peak is 1.8MB/s. Wish I could afford the 50 Mbps up/down plan.

RE: I hope they go the HBO GO route
By Dr of crap on 9/6/2011 9:34:42 AM , Rating: 1
And for the record - there is no such thing as a " high def antenna". It's a marketing thing to get you to buy a new antenna.
Any "old" antenna will pick up the HD signal.

By stm1185 on 9/6/2011 1:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
I have satellite and I still use an antenna from time to time so I can dvr 2 shows and watch a 3rd. Interestingly enough the picture from the antenna is BETTER then what I get from the HD DVR's hdmi output. I'm guessing it has to do with compression.

When are they going to get it?
By Varun on 9/1/2011 11:11:21 PM , Rating: 4
Netflix is great for content providers. I don't understand how the movie and TV industries have to learn all of the same lessons as the music industry did.

Offer a good product at a good price, and you will cut down on piracy by a huge percentage.

Netflix (especially streaming) offers this - an easy to use service, which does not lend itself to being copied by the customer easily, for a good price. Instead, they pull their content and then complain about people using torrent sites.

I am an honest person. I just want to get access to content, and I am OK paying for it, but you make it so dang hard!

RE: When are they going to get it?
By StevoLincolnite on 9/1/2011 11:55:21 PM , Rating: 5
I just want to get access to content, and I am OK paying for it, but you make it so dang hard!

For me they make it impossible in my country. No Netflix or Hulu-like services. (None that I am aware of anyhow.)

So what do most people do? Pirate.

What do the movie companies do? Sue the ISP's and the people.

Problem still persists as no one can buy the content in the medium they wish to use.

These media companies need to get a grip and realize that people have money they are willing to god damn spend if they would only provide it in an easy and affordable manner online across the Planet .

/end raging rant.

By hkscfreak on 9/2/2011 12:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, totally agree. But for now my hard-earned dollars are going to my seedbox provider. It could be theirs but they're not making it easy.

RE: When are they going to get it?
By mcnabney on 9/2/11, Rating: 0
By dark matter on 9/2/2011 10:25:10 AM , Rating: 3
Um, his point is he cannot BUY...

And then they claim Piracy is costing sales..

RE: When are they going to get it?
By bug77 on 9/2/2011 7:27:05 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand how the movie and TV industries have to learn all of the same lessons as the music industry did.

They don't have to learn anything.
Their only goal is controlling distribution. When they control distribution, they control scarcity. When they control scarcity, they can charge you $15 for something that costs $2 to make. Simple economics.

RE: When are they going to get it?
By 91TTZ on 9/2/2011 5:12:43 PM , Rating: 4
Ok, so they made it so hard in his example that they're getting $0 for a pirated movie.

RE: When are they going to get it?
By bug77 on 9/2/2011 6:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but in the meantime they pushed for, and were granted, HDCP and SoC. Users are being shifted from an open platform (PC) to closed ones (iTunes, consoles).

By inperfectdarkness on 9/5/2011 11:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
simple. virtual console was a great idea. so rather than allow it to thrive and flourish, sony/MS decided to kill all potential for games they own to be published on VC, and instead offered competing products.

in the end, only the consumer loses...because now you end up having to shop/pay at 3 different places in order to get what you want.

don't believe me? look at the rate at which games USED to be released on VC. it's dropped to practically NOTHING. xbox live has a LOT to do with that.

i don't care to subscribe to several different places just so i can watch the movies i want. i never had that problem with blockbuster; still don't have that problem with netflix. only problem there is SELECTION--because older movies are harder to get.

what is needed is a central "clearing-house" of sorts to stream movies from. why can't netflix be the equivalent of itunes? (only without the bs of apple).

Premium -- a dirty word..
By nocturne_81 on 9/2/2011 4:54:17 AM , Rating: 2
So.. I'm paying $90 a month for satellite cable, another $60 for highspeed net, and now there's dozens of companies like pandora, hulu, and netflix that are seeking to have me spend more money to subscribe to their services. At $10 a month, I'd consider it worthwhile for a service like netflix I'd use only perhaps a half a dozen times in a given month, but $16..?!

More than anything, I refuse to pay for digital content -- especially when it's widely available for free. It's incredibly confusing how a single song download costs $1 apiece when I can buy a 14 track album for $8 on amazon. The lack of manufacturing absorbs nearly 90% of the cost, so a typical song should cost a quarter instead of the dollar(-) it costs for a physical copy, just like an ebook should cost a dollar instead of the $10-15 that a physical copy costs. And the worst of all -- $6-10 for a Video-On-Demand rental..? Come on! Most ppl are within a mile of a redbox, so I honestly hope they aren't so loose with their money or lazy to spend these ridiculous amounts.

Unfortunately though, both industries are falling almost completely out of their own greed alone; and their continued practices in the digital realm are only sealing the last nail in their coffin..

RE: Premium -- a dirty word..
By phantom505 on 9/2/2011 8:22:42 AM , Rating: 1
Which is why most of us probably don't pay for cable/satellite. Now does that make the numbers slightly better? If you ask me you're getting robbed paying $90/month for cable/satellite.

RE: Premium -- a dirty word..
By cjohnson2136 on 9/2/2011 9:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
I know I spend 102 every month for cable/internet/phone but I have been considering dropping the phone and cable and just paying for internet. Half the time my wife and I watch stuff from netflix anyway.

RE: Premium -- a dirty word..
By FITCamaro on 9/2/2011 10:46:25 AM , Rating: 1
I pay $95 for satellite and $65 for internet. Separate companies.

By ShaolinSoccer on 9/2/2011 5:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
We pay $105 a month for DirectTV. That includes Filipino stations. We've been with them for 6 years and recently, they gave us Showtime and other channels for free for 3 months. Not to mention that they pay you $100 for every person that signs up and uses your name as a reference. We also have HD with DVR. But I gotta admit, if it weren't for those Filipino channels, we probably wouldn't be with DirectTV.

Netflix selection sucks
By obiwankenobi on 9/2/2011 8:03:24 AM , Rating: 2
Most of netflix selection are movies you don't even want to watch. They are now more like cable where they stuff channels where you can't even understand and didn't know exists.

RE: Netflix selection sucks
By gorehound on 9/2/2011 9:26:44 AM , Rating: 2
I would really like to see this Company go under.I hate Netflix and I will never use them or work for them.
I want my Videostore back.It was good to go out of the house and have a nice walk.It was also good to talk to a real human being.

RE: Netflix selection sucks
By xti on 9/2/2011 9:42:09 AM , Rating: 2
go to the corner store and find a redbox? they have people there too, but bears roam the streets.

RE: Netflix selection sucks
By lamerz4391 on 9/2/2011 11:37:01 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the zombies ...

Criminal Enterprise
By Fracture on 9/2/2011 9:45:58 AM , Rating: 2
What the movie studios are doing to Netflix is criminal - its either collusion to form a protectionist monopoly or just plain extortion when it comes to licensing rates.
Netflix is providing a disruptive service as many innovators do and here we have another example of the legacy businesses trying to shut down what is in the best interest of the consumer.

In my opinion, Starz (as well as every other studio) should at least make their current material available for streaming via Netflix to increase awareness and interest in their brands. I know if it weren't for Netflix, I would have never watched shows like the Tudors, or Spartacus.

RE: Criminal Enterprise
By Concillian on 9/3/2011 9:59:38 PM , Rating: 3
Indeed, movie studios are the issue here, not netflix.

They keep trying to raise revenue by raising prices, then they wonder why they lose people. It's like simple supply and demands concepts never sunk in from Econ 101.

Less and less of my money gets spent on video entertainment as these prices escalate to ridiculous levels. You can only squeeze your customers so much before they stop being your customers.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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