John Malone’s Starz Entertainment has locked up three-year movie output deals with Sony and Disney in a deal worth $800 million, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The deal was finalised at (or near) the same time as separate library deals with Warner Bros., MGM, and Universal for 1,200 back titles and TV series.
The deals include all Starz platforms — including Vongo, which is going to have trouble stacking up against new competition from Apple and Netflix. (Unless you think consumers will adopt a subscription model for online movies the same way they subscribe to Starz or HBO, and are willing to put up with a thinner catalogue of new movies.)
With the new deals, Vongo gets Disney and Sony films when Starz gets them, typically 12 months after their theatrical release. It has to wait longer for films from the other studios, which are locked up in deals with HBO and Showtime. Meanwhile, Apple/Netflix get their rental films during the home video window, which starts before premium TV. The upside for Starz is that it has exclusive digital transmission rights to Disney films during the premium TV window, shutting out all other digital services for those films.
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