Starz has walked away
from negotiating a new deal to continue streaming their catalog via Netflix.
For the past year, the companies had been negotiating a renewal, which likely would have cost exponentially more than the $20 million-$30 million Netflix paid for its initial four-year deal. [...]
While the dissolution of the deal wasn't entirely surprising, both Starz and Netflix execs have spoken optimistically in past months about reaching a new deal.
Starz was said to be seeking at least $200 million per year to renew the deal, a sum that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings acknowledged as reasonable. [...]
The current agreement expires on Feb. 28, 2012.
The article also points out that Netflix had been streaming around 1,000 movies as part of the Starz deal. This would certainly seem to be a pretty big blow for the company, especially in combination with its recent PR problems regarding the new pricing structure (which also went into full effect today...), though the article includes a quote from Hastings that "top-shelf titles" only account for 8% of digital viewing.
As far as I can recall right now, this is the first big content loss for Netflix (not counting the Sony Pictures/Starz issue earlier this year separately), and - as a subscriber - I hope it doesn't presage other companies following in Starz's footsteps. Netflix's decision to enter into original series of their own with House of Cards
seems like an even wiser decision now.