updated 06:10 am EDT, Fri March 25, 2011
New policy to begin next month
Starz premium TV content will be delayed from Internet streaming through Netflix for 90 days after it first airs. Exclusive first-run movies from Starz portfolio including those from Sony and Disney will soon follow the new 90-day policy. This comes after Netflix agreed to delay movies from Fox and Universal in exchange for wider access to major movies and TV shows in April last year. Insiders view the news that Starz has moved to the new arrangement as resulting from the increasing popularity of the Netflix service.
"Beginning with the April 1 premiere of the new original drama Camelot, new episodes of Starz originals will now be available on the Starz Play services 90 days after they debut on the network, with exclusive first-run movies later following suit," reads an official statement from Starz. "Past seasons of Starz series, including Spartacus, and previously aired movies will continue to be available for streaming. Authenticated Starz subscribers will still have full access to all current network programming through Starz Online."
Starz current agreement with Netflix, first initiated in late 2008, is due to expire in mid-2012. It is thought that if a new deal is to be struck between Starz and Netflix, that it could be worth up to five times as much as Netflix is currently paying for the Starz content. The agreement to delay content from being available through Netflix for 90 days is thought to be have been agreed to by Netflix in order to maintain a good relationship with Starz.
The news comes after a recent decision by CBS Showtime to withhold its currently screening TV series from streaming on Netflix until after the initial season run. [via The Hollywood Reporter]