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Dish Network Trying to Lure Away Disaffected Netflix Users

In a tweet, the satellite TV provider lists movie titles that are suddenly unavailable for streaming at Netflix due to a contractual issue between Starz and Sony.

Dish Network is hoping that Netflix losing the ability to stream Sony movies through its Starz relationship will be Dish’s gain.

Dish, therefore, tweeted to its 15,000 Twitter followers the message Tuesday: “Watch Salt, Social Network, Grown Ups, Easy A, The Other Guys or Karate Kid instantly on www.dishonline.com You can’t do that on Netflix!”

Netflix disclosed Friday that Starz, a unit of Liberty Starz Group, told Netflix to yank Sony films from its streaming service because an undisclosed subscriber threshold at Netflix had been reached.

“This is the result of a temporary contract issue between Sony and Starz,” Netflix vp content Pauline Fischer wrote in a blog post Friday. She didn’t estimate how long the ban on streaming Sony movies would last.

Meanwhile, several analysts quickly weighed in on what the decision means to Netflix and Liberty, the latest being Thomas Eagan of Collins Stewart, who reiterated his “buy” recommendation for shares of Liberty.

Wrote Eagan on Tuesday: “It would seem that there are two alternatives to returning Sony titles back to Netflix: 1) reduce the number of unauthenticated Netflix subscribers (meaning Netflix subscribers without a PayTV Starz subscription); or 2) negotiate a higher Starz fee to Sony. We expect that either option is beneficial to Liberty Starz.”

On Tuesday, shares of Liberty Starz rose 1.4% to $73.46 while Netflix shares jumped 3.3% to $253.65.