Netflix was served a big blow when Starz said Thursday that it won’t renew its distribution deal with the online streaming service, reports The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.
The deal will expire on Feb. 28, 2012. Netflix’s stock fell about 8% in after-hours trading on Thursday, the piece notes.
Netflix said in a statement that it was "grateful" for the early notice since it will allow the company to license additional content before the Starz pact expires, according to the story. But the loss will be significant to Netflix, since Starz provides hit movies such as "Toy Story 3" and several television shows including "Spartacus."
Nevertheless, Netflix said that Starz’ content isn’t as essential as it once was, given the additional content it’s licensed from studios such as Lionsgate and Relativity. Starz’ content now represents about 8% of domestic Netflix subscribers’ viewing, the piece adds.