Starz strikes new deal to keep Sony Pictures

By Daniel S Levine,

Starz can breathe a sigh of relief on Monday. The network has stuck a deal to keep the rights to air Sony Pictures’ theatrical releases through 2021.

According to The New York Times, the two companies did release financial terms, but an executive said that it will cost the pay-TV network around $2 billion over five years.

“We are thrilled to extend our exclusive partnership into the next decade,” Starz chief executive Chris Albrecht said in a press release.

That would be more than what Netflix agreed to in December when it won exclusive rights to Disney’s releases. Disney had previously worked with Starz and its contract with the network expires in 2015.

The Los Angeles Times notes that Netflix’s interest in Disney sparked a bidding war in that deal. It is estimated that Netflix will pay Disney between $300 million and $400 million.

HBO recently struck a deal to continue broadcasting Universal’s films.

The deal with Sony ensures that Starz will get to air the studio’s biggest recent hits, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Men in Black 3 and Zero Dark Thirty.

Starz does have its original content, like Spartacus and Magic City, but if it didn't have a deal with at least one studio, it would be without a major revenue stream.



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