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Starz To Pull Content From Netflix 314

tekgoblin writes "Starz plans to remove all of its movies and TV shows from the Netflix streaming library after negotiations failed. Starz, which is owned by John Malone's Liberty Media, said they have ended talks with Netflix to renew a deal that ends February 28th. Netflix stands to lose a large amount of content, as Starz has licenses for first run Sony and Walt Disney movies."
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Starz To Pull Content From Netflix

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  • by Lieutenant_Dan ( 583843 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:13AM (#37284574) Homepage Journal

    Thank you for selecting Netflix. Along with our basic package would like to upgrade to the following?

    Starz Package - $5.99/month
    Fox Sports Live Streaming - $12.99/month
    Nickelodeon Package - $4.99/month
    Slashdot Channel - £2.99/day
    NFL On Demand - $14.99/month
    NHL Prime Time - $0.99/decade

    • If the packages contained enough content and the base price for non premium was acceptable, this is still a cheeper option than major cable providers, with no commercials and no filler channels. Really its not about getting charged for what you use, because you'll happliy pay for that. What gets me is when they make you pay for what you wont ever use.
    • This would be much better than have to pay $70 and forced to get everything (i.e. like cable or directv)

      • by rotide ( 1015173 )
        You're not thinking this through. They aren't going to _drop_ the price of the current plan, they would _raise_ the cost to get the additional stuff, even if it's the _same_ stuff you had before. In other words, exactly like cable/sat. Oh, you only want the basic channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS), that will be $15/mo. Oh you want extended basic to get TNT, FX, etc? That'll be another $15. Oh, you want the HD tier with Discovery Channel, etc? That's another $30. With the content owners holding all t
    • They recently "upgraded" their DVD model as well.

      DVDs by Mail - First Born Male Child

    • Thank you for selecting Netflix. Along with our basic package would like to upgrade to the following?

      Starz Package - $5.99/month Fox Sports Live Streaming - $12.99/month Nickelodeon Package - $4.99/month Slashdot Channel - £2.99/day NFL On Demand - $14.99/month NHL Prime Time - $0.99/decade

      Interestingly enough, a good sports package would actually put a huge dent in cable as that is mainly why a lot of people still have it. If ESPN was somehow available via another channel (PlayOn with ESPN3 live streaming for me), many more would be dropping cable. It might even be enough if like your example Fox Sports was offered.

      ESPN could come up with their own "cable box" like a Roku type player and then really hurt cable, that or piggy back off things like Netflix or have an app for the ever growing

    • Wait, why is Slashdot Channel listed in GBP?
    • We'll get there some day, the pricing will eventually align with the higher rungs on the value chain.

      In the meantime, FYI, you can find many first-run and catalog Sony films at [] (they even have a Roku channel if you're in to that sort of thing). Crackle is Sony's Hulu-wannabe for their content. No, I don't know why it exists either.

    • This is why cable tv is so expensive - you are already paying for tiered pricing, you just don't realize it. Cable TV is $30 to $100+ per month. Netflix streaming is $8. Companies are losing money by giving their content to Netflix. Blaming netflix for this is tantamount to blaming a grocery store for the price of orange juice. They don't make the stuff, they just sell what they get from their providers and since people don't want to pay as much money for netflix as they would for cable tv, there won't
  • This will surely hurt business after splitting the Instant plan. Some of their best (some of their few blockbuster/A titles) were available through the STARZ offerings. I'm a huge fan of netflix instant, but between only carrying half-series of Shonen-jumps for months before completion(if they do get completed) and now this, I'll seriously be reconsidering my membership.
    • by jhoegl ( 638955 )
      Yeah, it is sad.

      But it is a long time from February, and this may be a move by Starz or Netflix for publicity on the issue.

      Or, they could land another company like HBO.
    • If you want Anime, then check out Crunchy Roll.

  • I've seen lots of good titles disappear from instant streaming with little or no advance warning. Now they're dropping all the Starz-provided material? I'll have to - at the very least - go and record all the 30-second-bunnies clips.
  • useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haven ( 34895 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:15AM (#37284600) Homepage Journal

    Netflix is a wonderful supplement to piracy.

    If it isn't on Netflix, it is popular enough for a torrrent. If you cannot find it through nefarious means, it is old enough to be on Netflix.

    • I like the quote: "...Starz, in a statement, called its decision "a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging" of its content...". Translation: We think we can gouge Netflix now that they are big enough and if we pull our content, then people with just buy it elsewhere. Piracy doesn't exist.

      I can't help but wonder if this is just hard-ball negotiating tactics and as Feb 28 approaches, some deal will reached.

    • Re:useful (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PixelScuba ( 686633 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:46AM (#37284866)
      I used to download gigs of movies to watch with before streaming Netflix. It was so convenient I never bothered to torrent any movie because I could just boot the XBox and watch them. Torrenting was never really about wanting it free it was about the quickest and most cost effective way to watch movies. Netflix is reasonably priced and easy to access... any other streaming service I tried was a nightmare or outrageously priced (Hulu was OK, but I wasn't really impressed with their streaming selection) With all the providers pulling their content because they feel they can either 1.) start their own streaming service and believe I will also "subscribe" to that or 2.) force Netflix to give them more per film. I'd be willing to pay twice what I pay now for Netflix if it meant they could significantly improve the size and quality of their online catalog but it seems the media companies are going to go for greed on this one and drive me back to torrents.

      Any good sites for finding movies now?
      • Any good sites for finding movies now? "[name of movie or show] torrent" and pick one.

      • by sgbett ( 739519 )

        You know what, that is *exactly* the point. It's not all about piracy and getting stuff free. If it was, then people wouldn't pay $35 month for giganews subs.

        This is over 4x the current netflix price. Funny that.

        Never mind crap like "Sorry, Netflix is not available in your country... yet"

        • Never mind crap like "Sorry, Netflix is not available in your country... yet"

          That's exactly my problem. I would like paying for these things. But nothing is willing to sell it in my country. No iTunes Moves/Series, no Netflix, no Hulu, no movies, Google TV or anything. And I'm not living in some backwater. My country (The Netherlands) has the highest average broadband speed in Europe and 4th highest worldwide.*

          I think the Dutch equivalent of the MAFIAA has something to do with it (BREIN and BUMA/STEMRA). I hope the European Commisioner or Digital Agenda Nelie Kroes will e

  • by dj245 ( 732906 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:17AM (#37284616) Homepage
    When Netflix raised their 1+streaming plan to $16, I went to the 2DVD plan. This was based on the very limited streaming selection, plus my wife's first language is not english so she needs subtitles. Despite our owning a Roku and a Toshiba TV that support Netflix streaming, neither of these devices support the Netflix streaming. Netflix is really screwing the streaming customers. I feel pretty validated with my decision after hearing this.

    I haven't heard many people going to a DVD-only plan. Most people were planning on canceling, or doing the streaming plan +Redbox. Does this change anyone's plans?
    • by dj245 ( 732906 )
      Damn, I should have previewed one more time. Roku and my Toshiba TV do not support Netflix Subtitle streaming.
    • Wait. There's a DVD only plan? I should check to see if we can get a cheaper one.
      Streaming isn't Linux compatible anyway, and we signed up long before they had streaming.

      • Yes. Netflix recently separated their DVD and Streaming plans. Streaming costs $7.99 a month. 1 DVD at a time costs $7.99 a month. 2 DVDs at a time costs $11.99 a month. If you want 2 DVDs and Streaming, that would cost $19.98 ($7.99 + $11.99).

        • Damn. I've been overpaying then. Need to get the 2 DVD plan until some sort of agreement on DRM for Linux is worked out.

    • I got Netflix in the first place because my most reliable option for high speed internet is wireless 3G, thanks to the crappy wiring in an inaccessible alley behind my house. And it's capped at 5 Gb/month, and video stalls frequently during periods of high usage. So I did the same thing, switched to 2 DVD's, and I'm getting a lot more content for just a little more money. Thanks, Netflix!
    • I haven't heard many people going to a DVD-only plan. Most people were planning on canceling, or doing the streaming plan +Redbox. Does this change anyone's plans?

      Nine times out of ten when I see "STARZ PLAY" at the beginning of a movie I know it sucks ass and I won't actually finish it.

      Streaming is the best way to rent movies EVER because so many of them are such total shit. I actually watch less movies to the end than I stop watching them in the first fifteen minutes. Going to the 2-DVD plan would be idiotic for us because we're already having trouble finding anything we want to rent. Of course, we're also having trouble finding stuff we want to watch streaming.

      • by Lando ( 9348 )

        I'm kinda in the same boat here. It's hard to find something I actually want to watch on Netflix anymore. I used it vigorously for about one month, after that it was hard to find anything I wanted to watch past that point. Most of the shows I did watch during that first month were movies that I have on dvd and just found it more convenient to call up netflix and hit play with than actually new material. I don't think that it's really netflix's fault, it's just the entertainment that is produced g

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      I dunno, if it was just me, I'd rather go with the DVD-only plan, since it's much more likely to actually have the content I'm looking for. That said, my wife uses the streaming a lot because it's much more convenient than using torrents or whatever, and the quality is better (we don't have a blu-ray player for HD stuff... actually we don't even have a TV).

      OTOH, I don't really watch movies or TV all that much, so we'll probably end up dumping the DVD plan :-P I have enough of a Futurama backlog to appeas

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      I am waiting for Netflix to go non-subscription based since I rarely watch movies and old television/TV series. I love Redbox for being cheap and paying when I want to!

  • by Fnord666 ( 889225 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:25AM (#37284678) Journal

    Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said the company was "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."

    Good luck with that. What content would that be exactly? Losing access to Sony and Disney will be a fairly large void to fill, especially for the amount Netflix has "earmarked" for it. On the other hand I wonder how much of a "bonus" Starz might be receiving from cable or satellite providers to play hard ball with Netflix?

    • On the other hand I wonder how much of a "bonus" Starz might be receiving from cable or satellite providers to play hard ball with Netflix?

      Hard to say. Chances are if you have Netflix and watch it on TV, you have cable. I realize that's not always the case, but it seems like that's the majority of broadband subscribers. We have Comcast with Starz as a part of our package, so whenever we want to watch Starz content, we watch it in HD on OnDemand instead.

      • With DirecTV, Starz is an optional package. A package a friend of mine canceled shortly after getting a Roku box, considering that had Netflix and she can watch movies through that.

        Personally, I was already disappointed with the streaming Netflix offering (see older comment), but with this change it's just going to be much worse.

        Soon Netflix's streaming offering will just be one 'recent' half a year old) A title with the rest filled with B and C titles, the odd A title from 5+ years ago, and a lot of anime

    • Netflix already has a content deal with Disney (signed in December 2010) and thus does not need Starz in order to show Disney/ABC titles.

      Sony on the other hand has been playing serious hardball, but Starz will not have Netflix revenue to throw at Sony any longer. Their deal ends in 2014 so the best move for Sony is to start grabbing revenue directly from Netflix, essentially "double dipping" for 2 to 3 years.
      • Netflix already has a content deal with Disney (signed in December 2010) and thus does not need Starz in order to show Disney/ABC titles.

        I believe that deal last year was for television eps and catalogue films, Starz handles Disney's first-run theatrical titles. That's what we're losing.

  • The other side? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ksdd ( 634242 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:35AM (#37284770)
    Everyone seems to be commenting on how this is bad for Netflix, but I'm kind of wondering how the Starz brass thinks leaving anywhere between $250-$300 million on the table is a good idea, or who they're going to receive better offers from. The content is OK, but I somehow doubt their stuff is as premium as they like to think it is...
  • I'm glad that now I know my extra money for the recent fee increases goto Netflix themselves, not to pay for content. I've been a NetFlix member for more than 10 years now, but I'm not so sure how much longer thats going to last.
  • by Peter Simpson ( 112887 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:37AM (#37284788)
    Because it's easier. Honestly, if I could find a dependable source, with as broad a selection of US *and* foreign material as, say Pirate Bay, at a reasonable ($1.99 per title?) price, I'd sign right up. But no, that source doesn't (legally) exist...due to the seemingly constant bickering over licensing, and who gets how big a cut of the rapidly diminishing pie. Maybe one day the media companies will get a clue, but apparently that day isn't here yet.
    • I don't torrent, but I agree. If Netflix announced tomorrow that they had come to an agreement with the major studios to put all movies on streaming, say 90 days after the DVD release, then tons of people would sign up for the service. Netflix and the studios would both win. They could even raise their Streaming plan to $10 a month and it would still be a great deal. Instead, the content providers complain that if people access their titles on Netflix they won't buy the DVDs when many people will either

  • Is there a list somewhere of what exactly is in the Starz catalog? I see it includes Disney movies but what about Disney Channel or ABC Family? What else is in that catalog?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Log into your Netflix account, at the top click on "Watch Instantly", then below that click on "Starz Play".

      It's about 39 pages of stuff, mostly old movies.

  • Netflix's response (Score:3, Informative)

    by whoop ( 194 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:16AM (#37285192) Homepage

    How can you have this story without Netflix's response? Google it for a good read.

    Spoiler: Basically Netflix said thanks for what they had, but with all their other studio agreements, Starz only accounts for 8% of what people watch now. Not much of a loss, and they'll spend that on deals with other studios.

    • by RulerOf ( 975607 )

      Starz only accounts for 8% of what people watch now.

      Gotta love the obstinate party in a negotiation that simply can't fathom how someone else's statistics can royally fuck their argument.

  • This is what you people get for paying for your content. Suckers.
  • by SphericalCrusher ( 739397 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:45AM (#37285560) Journal
    Oh, investors expected this deal to take place? Oh so I guess that takes priority over the millions of Netflix users who expected it to take place? This is a big deal to me. My wife is a stay at home mom, and yeah she spends a lot of time with my boy playing outside and inside away from the TV, but when they finally sit down for a minute -- the same as when I get off of work, I want to sit down and enjoy a good selection of content. Now without those Disney movies, well, I will honestly probably go right back to piracy since I can't afford to buy every Disney movie that comes out. (I know not every movie was on Netflix) Sure, I can rent discs from Netflix, Redbox, Blockbuster, or I can rent and copy them. Yes, this attitude I have towards making illegal backups of their movies I thought was long gone. Thanks Netflix. Hopefully they strike a deal with another large company to bring us some better movies or I'm cancelling. We mostly use it for Disney movies anyway.
  • by mu51c10rd ( 187182 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:45AM (#37285562)

    If anyone wants to let Starz know what they think, Liberty Media's contact information is here []. Netflix was willing to offer up to 250 million...yet that was not enough to Starz who previously was providing their library for 30 million. Seems blatantly obvious who is at fault for the lack of renewal here.

  • Starz' content was poor quality, and old movies that you'll find on TBS or some other cable channel if you really cared.

    Good riddance. It sucked having to page over their junk, and if it frees up money for places with real content, more power to Netflix.

    The funniest thing is that Starz seems to think their "brand" has any value.

    • I think I've watched 2 of the Starz films offered on streaming: Toy Story 3 and The Other Guys. Sorting the selection of Starz films by rating shows the top 15 films were all made prior to 1995. I will not miss Starz.
  • Not too long ago I was thinking to myself, "You know, I haven't really pirated anything in a while. Most of what I want is on hulu or netflix." I also noted that many of the things I watched on Netflix started with the Starz logo. Perhaps very soon it will be time to go back to TPB. Why don't media companies get it? I don't *NEED* to buy their product, I can have it for free because there is no scarcity in a world of 1s and 0s.

  • So in other words, Netflix streaming will soon be no better than Amazon Prime? I subscribe to Prime for the shipping services, but almost never use the streaming. If Netflix doesn't go back and kiss Starz's ass, why should I not go to a disc-only subscription, buy a Roku XS and use Prime instead?

  • by gblues ( 90260 ) on Friday September 02, 2011 @11:00AM (#37286632)

    Starz content on Netflix Streaming has always been horrible quality. Fire up Tangled, skip to the scene where the dam breaks, and listen in horror to the audio compression artifacts. I've got pretty low standards of quality, and even I'm embarrassed for Starz.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal