Neflix Wins! Netflix Outbids Starz for Rights to Disney Movies

January 18, 2013 - 3 minute read


Earlier this year Netflix’s four-year deal with Starz expired, without renewal in sight. Losing Starz, as well as the 60% increase in subscriber fees, caused many subscribers to cancel or downgrade their monthly plans. This loss had been interpreted as a blow that diminished Netflix’s market value However, Netflix’s snatching of the rights to the Disney movies from Starz (which Netflix previously had access to through that Starz deal), should begin to fill a programming void and Netflix stands to retain and attract even more customers.


The Disney contract with Netflix covers films released in theaters from 2016 to 2018 [and] will grant Netflix any new Disney, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and Disney nature titles. Disney’s deal for Lucasfilm has not closed. This will also enable customers to view Disney films a little over six months after they have been released in theaters. Until all of the additional Disney films/titles are accessible to customers, Netflix has focused more attention on their original series to keep subscribers interested in what their streaming services have to offer. This new approach is making Netflix more like traditional pay-TV channels such as HBO, Starz and Showtime.


The show ‘Arrested Development’ first aired on FOX but was cancelled in 2006. It will make its comeback through Netflix and the entire new season will be available for viewing upon release. This will not be the first original series, nor the last. ‘Lilyhammer’ was among the first and the highly anticipated, ‘House of Cards’, starring Kevin Spacey, is set to be released in the next couple of months. Eli Roth, director/writer of the first two ‘Hostel’ films, as well as ‘Grindhouse’ and ‘Cabin Fever’, will introduce, ‘Hemlock Grove’, through Netflix. This original series stars Famke Janssen, from ‘X-Men’ and ‘Nip/Tuck’, is set to debut in the early part of 2013. Lastly, the highly anticipated ‘Orange Is The New Black’, based on the bestselling book written by Piper Kerman, is being shaped by the ‘Weeds’ alum including creator Jenji Kohan. ‘Orange’ stars Taylor Schilling and Jason Biggs. By attracting well known actors, writers and directors, Netflix stands to offer the exclusivity that once caused Starz to pull away.


Although Netflix has promised their customer base they will not increase prices drastically again, it will be interesting to follow the growth of the Netflix business model. With this plan, Netflix might very well recoup their consumer losses from the past, as long as they get a dramatic increase in subscribers.

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