Starz Ends Netflix Contract For Streaming Video

This is probably the biggest upset for Netflix to date as the Starz movie network has ended talks and will not be renewing a contract with them to carry their movies on their streaming video service.

The decision will give Netflix a big void in their streaming video catalog as over 1,000 movies will be removed. The company had said earlier in the year that this was “one of our most important deals,” considering it was one of the few that gave recent films for its streaming access. The announcement was made at the same time the company increased its price for streaming content to customers.

“Starz Entertainment has ended contract renewal negotiations with Netflix. When the agreement expires on Feb. 28, 2012, Starz will cease to distribute its content on the Netflix streaming platform,” Starz President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht said in a statement.

“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. 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,” Albrecht said.

Starz content will be removed from Netflix’s streaming service starting in March. The library includes movies from Walt Disney Co.’s assorted studios and, until recently, Sony. Stocks fell almost 8 percent in n after-hours trading for the movie rental company.