September 1, 2011
For Netflix customers, we have some unhappy news to report. Your $7.99 per month streaming subscription will soon be worth a lot less as Starz has announced it will no longer be offering its programming through the video giant come 2012. In news first reported by The New Web, Starz announced today that its current contract with Netflix will be allowed to expire in February of 2012. This means premium content from the Starz and Encore brands will exit Netflix soon after. What this means for customers, according to TNW, is the elimination of “a huge back catalog of movies that air on its cable networks, which specialize in those familiar movies and shows that you wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy, but “wouldn’t mind watching if they came on the TV while I was sitting there, I guess.”” As is usually the case with announcements like this, Starz’ decision to abandon Netflix most likely has to do with money. The company is said to have been hoping to collect upwards of $200 million for a new agreement. Instead, it will shop elsewhere. The loss of Starz is Netflix’s second this year. In June, Sony dropped its programming from the service over alleged contract violations. According to TNW:
Starz has had a mild hit in the medium-budget original content category recently with Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Back in March, Starz put a 90-day delay on original content like Spartacus appearing on Netflix. Starz also delivers content from CBS and Disney to Netflix, so the breakdown of these talks potentially means no more Disney movies on Netflix, although the company has separate deals in place for ABC television content.As a long-time Netflix streaming customer, I agree that Starz’ titles aren’t top-tier nor current. Unfortunately, that describes most of the movies Netflix currently offers for streaming. Hopefully, Netflix will use this loss to sign contracts with other providers. If they don’t, I wouldn’t be surprised if customers begin dropping the streaming service altogether.