Starz, Sony Pictures Extend Film Output Deal
Sony Pictures Entertainment and Starz on Monday a new, multi-year agreement that extends their exclusive first-run film output deal.
The news comes after Walt Disney recently struck a deal with Netflix, which as a result will in a few years get to offer Disney's film output. Netflix outbid Starz, which will remain the exclusive home of Disney theatrical releases into 2017.
Financial details of the Starz-Sony deal, negotiated by Sony Pictures Television, weren't disclosed. Starz's stock rose around 4 percent in early stock market trading.
Some analysts had predicted that Starz, which recently became a separate stock market-listed company after splitting from John Malone's Liberty Media, would look to renew the Sony arrangement to secure its only remaining film output deal.
As a result, Starz will have the exclusive pay TV rights to Sony Pictures' theatrical releases through 2021. The previous agreement between the two companies had covered motion pictures released theatrically through 2016.
Starz is expected to use some of the money saved from not extending the Disney output deal for new original series.
Starting with 2005 theatrical releases, Starz has been the exclusive first-run pay TV home for Sony Pictures films. The new agreement "provides movie content for all Starz platforms, including its linear Starz and Encore channels in standard definition and HD, subscription VOD services in standard definition, HD On Demand and 3D On Demand, and online streaming services, including the recently launched Starz Play and Encore Play," the companies said.
“Starz and Encore subscribers have enjoyed the consistently stellar theatrical product from Sony, and we are thrilled to extend our exclusive partnership into the next decade,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “Starz will continue to offer the richest premium TV viewing experience for our subscribers and distributors for years to come thanks to Starz' growing original programming slate, along with the robust lineup of new blockbuster Sony releases and our deep movie library."
Said John Weiser, president, U.S. distribution for Sony Pictures Television: “Starz has been a terrific partner and we are excited to be extending our relationship with them through the 2021 slate."