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Starz renews deal to get Sony movies through 2021

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Premium pay TV channel Starz said Monday that it renewed an agreement to carry movies from Sony Pictures through 2021. The deal, which was seen as a must-win for the channel, was finished two months after Netflix snatched new Disney movies from Starz. The deal will extend Sony's relationship with Starz by five years, giving the channel access to major Hollywood releases. Disney movies released in 2016 and beyond will play on Netflix's streaming service instead of Starz.

Analysts speculated that Starz is paying anywhere from $250 million to $400 million per year, an increase from the estimated $200 million it is paying Sony currently.

Netflix isn't considered a “traditional” pay TV network, but its service, at $8 a month, is seen as increasingly competing with premium pay TV channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz, which cost $15 a month.

Starz had 21 million subscribers as of the end of September. Netflix has 27 million subscribers at year-end.

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