Netflix in Talks With Starz to Extend Licensing Deal


Netflix is in early talks with Liberty Media's Starz about extending a licensing deal for its online video service with the pay-TV channel, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The results of the discussions could change the economics of Netflix's $8-a-month fee for streaming video.

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While Netflix has cut several highly lucrative deals with Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros. and pay-TV offering Epix, which holds rights to films from MGM, Paramount and Lionsgate, several Hollywood players believe those deals will never be repeated.

Starz previously sold streaming rights to its movies, which include Disney and Sony films, for $30 million -- now widely regarded as a steal for Netflix.

BTIG media analyst Richard Greenfield said signing that deal today could cost Netflix upwards of $250 million. The Netflix-Starz deal expires in 10 months.

Speaking Tuesday at a UBS media conference, Liberty Media's CEO, Greg Maffei, admitted that Netflix got a bargain. "It worked out pretty well for Netflix," he said.

Netflix, which has seen its subscribers grow 50 percent this year and its stock price more than double to $189.81, also has agreements with Relativity and FilmDistrict. It has a TV show deal with NBC Universal.

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