Sony Pictures Renews Pay TV Carriage Deal With Starz

This is a big deal for Starz, which you can see in the 7.8% jump in its shares in early trading this morning: Sony could be the only major studio providing recent hit movies to the premium network after 2016, when Disney moves its new releases to Netflix. The deal negotiated by Sony Pictures TV will keep the studio’s movies on Starz through 2021; the previous deal would have expired in 2016. Many analysts feared that without Sony, Starz would have to struggle to produce original shows to fill its schedule. And Starz’s market valuation likely would have plummeted if it lost Sony; Liberty Media spun off Starz last month. Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible observed a few weeks ago that “Sony is the only major studio Pay TV deal that anyone can hope to secure this decade.” And Barclays’ Chris Merwin noted that “other bidders, particularly Netflix and Amazon, could make competitive offers” to land Sony. (more…)

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