March 25, 2011

Netflix Restricted By Starz On New Show Releases

The competition between pay TV and Netflix is growing and channels like Starz are pulling back on their embrace of the subscription video provider.

Concerns that subscriptions to Starz will be curbed by releasing new episodes of original series such as "Spartacus" to Netflix, Liberty Media Corp. said that starting with its new "Camelot" series, which will air on April 1st, new episodes will only be allowed to play on Netflix's streaming service 90 days after its debut. AT&T and Verizon customers who subscribe to Starz's online-only service will also be affected by the delay, reports the New York Times.

The delay will include the streaming of "exclusive first-run movies," Starz said. This will prevent Netflix from immediately streaming popular movies that Starz has the rights to air from The Walt Disney Co. and Sony Corp. However, new episodes of shows like "Spartacus" will be available without the delay.

Netflix's contract with Starz will end early next year, and analysts predict that Netflix will "pay a hefty premium to renew the deal," reports the AP.

"The movies that we have through Starz to watch instantly are unchanged," says Netflix spokesperson, Steve Swasey. However, he says, "In 2012, some may or may not be available in the same window. We'll work that out at the time."

Earlier, CBS Corp. announced that they will not allow Netflix to stream back Showtime's current season original shows like "Dexter" and "Californication." But Netflix claims that negotiations are still under way.

The hostility from traditional T.V. towards Netflix has the company announcing that it will enter the original programming business. It has bought the rights to two seasons of David Fincher's new show, "House of Cards," which is a political thriller that stars Kevin Spacey. The new series will premiere exclusively on Netflix.

Swasey also wanted to point out that "The value of Netflix is the completeness more than the freshness anyway," and that "If you want to watch it when it airs, call your cable company and subscribe to Starz." Past seasons of hundreds of TV shows are available through Netflix.


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