Netflix Reacts: Starz Content Is 'Down to About 8% of Domestic Netflix Subscribers' Viewing'

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NEW YORK - After Starz late on Thursday said it has ended talks about a contract renewal with Netflix, the latter shot back with a statement provided by a spokesman that vowed that the company would use its money for other content deals and highlighted that Starz content has declined in importance for the streaming video provider.

"While we regret their decision to let our agreement lapse next February, we are grateful for the early notice of their decision, which will give us time to license other content before Starz expires," Netflix, led by CEO Reed Hastings, said in a statement. "We are confident we can take the money we had earmarked for [the] Starz renewal next year and spend it with other content providers to maintain or even improve the Netflix experience."

It added: "While Starz was a huge part of viewing on Netflix several years ago because it was some of the only mainstream content Netflix offered, over the years Netflix has spent more and more licensing great TV shows from all four broadcast networks and many cable networks, and we have licensed first-run movies from Relativity, MGM, Paramount, Lionsgate and others. Because we’ve licensed so much other great content, Starz content is now down to about 8 percent of domestic Netflix subscribers’ viewing."  

The company added that as it beefs up its content offer even more in the final quarter of 2011, "we expect Starz content to naturally drift down to 5 percent-6 percent of domestic viewing in the first quarter."  

But Netflix also had some nice words for Starz, saying the premium TV firm "has been a great content partner since 2008, and we are thankful for their support." Netflix added: "We have tremendous respect for the Starz creative team, and we look forward to someday licensing some of their original or licensed content."


Twitter: @georgszalai

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