Netflix inks deal with Starz

Companies pact for streaming video

After landing Disney and CBS as streaming content partners, Netflix is set Wednesday to announce that it has struck a similar but larger deal with Starz Entertainment.

The arrangement has the latter company's Starz Play broadband service providing 1,000 movies immediately to Netflix for streaming over the Internet, with an additional 1,500 coming in the next few weeks.

Netflix, now with more than 12,000 movie and TV titles for streaming, allows its subscribers who pay at least $8.99 a month to stream as many titles as they like. Subscribers still get the same number of DVDs by mail no matter how many times they stream content over the Internet.

The two wouldn't reveal financial details of their arrangement.

The Netflix deal marks the second affiliation agreement that Starz Play has struck. It's first one, earlier this year, was with Verizon, which offers Starz Play as a $5.99 per month download service.

The Verizon deal was struck when Starz shut down its Vongo service a few months ago. Vongo launched in January 2006 as an online download service but closed it on Aug. 1.

Netflix, which had been shying away from the licensing of expensive hit movies for online deliver, will now be able to offer movies like "Spider-Man 3," "Superbad" and "Ratatouille," courtesy of Starz Play.

The deal also includes a sneak preview of the first full episode of the TV show "Crash." Netflix said that the show's source material, the movie "Crash," is its most-rented DVD in its history.