Starz Entertainment has ended contract negotiations with Netflix and will pull its content from the Watch Instantly platform effective February 28, the company announced Thursday.
"This decision is a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content," Starz said in a statement. "With our current studio rights and growing original programming presence, the network is in an excellent position to evaluate new opportunities and expand its overall business."
In a statement, Netflix downplayed the current impact of the Starz partnership and said its content accounts for 8 percent of domestic viewing. As Netflix adds more movies and TV shows in the first quarter, it expects Starz viewing to drop to about 5-6 percent next year before the content is pulled.
Days after Showtime said it will pull some of its original programming from Netflix's Watch Instantly, Starz has announced some changes to its Netflix lineup, saying it will delay the Netflix debut of "Camelot" for 90 days.
Starz is set to debut its original series, "Camelot," on April 1. As reported by the LA Times, Starz was originally scheduled to debut "Camelot" via Netflix Watch Instantly on April 2, but will now wait 90 days until the show is viewable online.
Starz also plans to delay movies, though a Netflix spokesman said there are "no changes to movies." As the LA Times notes, however, the companies' current contract expires in 2012, so the movie delays could be added to next year's negotiations.
Starz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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