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Starz to delay new series on Netflix streaming, movies may follow

Starz-netflix-camelot Add Starz to the list of premium cable channels pulling away from Netflix.

Just two days after Showtime said it would soon stop making its original series available to stream from Netflix, Liberty Media's Starz, one of Netflix's longest running and most important partners, is changing its policy as well.

Starting April 1, when its new drama "Camelot" premieres, Starz will no longer put its original series on Netflix the day after they first air on television. Instead, Starz will institute a 90-day delay before Netflix subscribers can watch the shows via the Internet.

The pay channel also said that it eventually will institute a similar delay on movies. Starz currently provides movies from Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures to Netflix at the same time it gains the rights.

Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey, however, said, "Movies are not impacted and contractually cannot be delayed."

While that may be true for the moment, the companies' partnership expires in early 2012. Whether and how it may be renewed has been a looming question for both companies. Starz appears to be laying down a marker that, even if the deal is renewed, it will no longer provide its films as quickly.

Starz's announcement reflects a growing concern among many in Hollywood that Netflix is turning from partner into competitor. With more than 20 million subscribers, many of whom stream its library of movies and programs onto Internet-connected televisions, Netflix has in many ways become a premium channel that exists outside of the normal cable subscription universe.

Showtime and Starz's larger competitor HBO has consistently withheld its movies and television shows from Netflix for just that reason.

The new move to hold back original shows indicates that Starz may be growing concerned that providing content too quickly to Netflix could discourage consumers from subscribing to the cable channel.

Past seasons of Starz original series such as "Spartacus" will continue to be available on Netflix.

Swasey of Netflix called the change regarding television shows "evolutionary" and said it wouldn't significantly affect his company. "We value completeness more than freshness," he said.

Several movie studios last year reached deals that include a 28-day delay before Netflix can send  newly released movies on DVD to subscribers.

-- Joe Flint and Ben Fritz


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Photo: Eva Green as the malevolent Morgan in the Starz miniseries "Camelot." Credit: Michael Muller / Starz

Comments () | Archives (14)

the only one's who get screwed are us the customers.

This really sucks. I'm sure Starz makes money from Netflix so they are just screwing customers. They just gave me a reason to NOT subscribe to Starz. I hope BBCAmerica shows the program. I guess Starz doesn't want these shows to be a hit. Do they really think that 20 million Netflix subscribers are suddenly going to subscribe to Starz?

meanwhile people in China get their movies BEFORE it goes to theaters, and for less than the price of popcorn.
maybe piracy really IS the answer.

Netflix's days are numbered--as are those of most other online distribution portal--despite evidence to the contrary (for now). The internet has eliminated middlemen from so many aspects of life over the past decade, and Netflix is just one more big middleman between the studios and the end consumer, and I'm betting the studios are already thinking of the day when their content goes straight from their own servers (or one they jointly own) into your home, preferably for a reasonable price. Withholding new content is just the beginning . . .

"a growing concern among many in Hollywood"

Please. The concern is only from the cable companies/studios.

Netflix content sucks and is getting worse and worse everyday.

Starz doesn't make crap with NFLX the deal they signed for $30 million put NFLX on the map and started the distruction of the whole Entertainment Industry. Saying customers are the only one's who get screwed is a joke people act like movies should be free for them to watch like they don't cost money to make and support a whole industry of workers.

Swasey of Netflix called the change regarding television shows "evolutionary" and said it wouldn't significantly affect his company. "We value completeness more than freshness," he said.
- really, this guy should be selling encyclopedias not media content.

There is still plenty of content to see on netflix, Shows that i never heared of until I found them on netflix, like Drop Dead Diva, Dead Like Me, ect. Great shows that suffered from piss poor marketing on the part of the networks.

For me, Netflix is a complement to digital broadcast TV and actual movie theaters.

The only thing I really miss are new series on Showtime and HBO, and I'd be willing to pay for those at a reasonable ala-carte rate. I don't see why HBO and Showtime don't license their on-demand content to Netflix for an additional charge. I'd pay an extra $8 a month to add one of their on-demand libraries to what Netflix already has.

well i will be changing my subscrition to netflix now,thanks alot starz. after supporting sparticas for both of there seasons, this flat out make me mad and im not one to send comments to anyone

that's fine. starz, and showtime for that matter have some great shows, but that's it. the movies are absolute garbage and not worth paying the subscription price. i'll wait the 3 months to watch the shows. these premium stations are delusional to think this would gain them any subscribers...

NETFLIX AND VIZIO ARE THE FUTURE!!......Starz, Showtime,HBO.......As a past customer of OUTRAGEOUSLY priced cable, Why would I pay $100.-200.00 for crap I don't wanna watch, when my magic VIZIO blue-ray can stream instantly $3.99 a movie or NETFLIX $8.99 a month?

For 8.99 a month I love Netflix. I don't care if the movie studios make me wait 28 days to get a movie or 90 days to watch an original series. The cable company wants 10 to 20 bucks for each premium channel and I have to watch what they put on. Forget that I will take instant streaming and dvd's by mail anyday. Netflix is the future and will hopefully put premium cable channels out of business. They have enough money now they could buy tons of content that would normally be bought by HBO or Showtime or Starz. Hell they could probably buy Starz.


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