renewal of its content licensing deal with Netflix was expected to bring and announced an end to negotiations today. According to the Company Town blog, talks broke down over Starz's insistence that Netflix implement tiered pricing, and charge customers even more for access to its content. That means when the current deal expires on February 28, 2012, they will all go away, including a number of its newer release flicks from Sony (already pulled) and Disney that Starz has exclusive licenses to and Starz content like Camelot and Spartacus. To make matters worse, all of this is going down the same day as a price hike makes it more expensive to keep both disc and streaming services.
While Starz claims the move is a part of its strategy to "protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content" as well as "evaluate new opportunities", Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey is quoted as saying it can redirect the Starz money to deals with other content providers to "maintain or even improve the Netflix experience." Beyond Starz, in the US Netflix also has access to newer movies from its deals with Epix and a few smaller distributors like Relativity Media. Check Starz's statement in full after the break, and let us know if this is changing your answer to yesterday's poll question.