Starz to Introduce 90-Day Netflix Delay for Original Series’ Content

Another premium cable network has decided to keep Netflix subscribers from immediately having access to its original television shows online.

Starz say yesterday that as of next month, it will induce a 90-day delay on the availability of new episodes of original series for users of its Starz Play broadband service, which it offers in arrangements with Netflix as well as telecom giants Verizon and Qwest.

Stars said that exclusive first-run movies will follow suit, but did not indicate an exact time at which that would take place. Starz currently has movie deals with Disney and Sony. Their current streaming deal with Netflix runs through early 2012.

The news of this delay comes after Showtime said earlier this week that it will keep original series that are currently airing on Showtime off Netflix starting this summer. Netflix is increasingly being seen as a fast-growing rival to premium network subscriptions.

A Starz spokesperson said, “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.”

Netflix’s arrangement with Starz ends next year, and some industry insiders suggest that the new 90-day window is a goodwill negotiating tactic on the part of Netflix, as a new deal is expected to be worth at least 5 times more to Starz than Netflix currently pays. In other words, they may be using this as leverage to get a better deal.


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