Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2012 by Angie Han
If you, like me, have a long Netflix streaming queue filled with movies you’ve been meaning to see but can never quite seem to find the time for, now may be a good time to finally get around to crossing some of those off your to-do list. You may recall that last fall, just as Netflix was dealing with the massive backlash to its price increases, Starz broke off negotiations to renew its deal with the home video service.
Well, February 29 marks the end of the companies’ existing contract, meaning that this week will be your last chance to stream Toy Story 3, Scarface, or Party Down on Netflix. More details — including a link to a list of the expiring Starz titles — after the jump.
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Briefly: What happened today with Sony and Netflix? It is a slightly complicated situation, but here’s the short version: Sony movies are made available to stream via Netflix thanks to deals that both companies have with Starz. Evidently there is a wrinkle in the Sony/Starz contract that needs to be sorted out, in that it stipulates a maximum number of users to whom Starz can deliver content. Netflix has grown to the point where it is out-delivering what Starz is allowed to provide. (Weird contract stipulation, and while I can imagine scenarios that would require it — having to do with competition and terms in contracts Sony has with other companies — we don’t know more than that.)
So Sony and Starz have to rework their contract, and until then Netflix will not be able to stream Sony movies. Starz promises that this is temporary. “Sony movies have been temporarily taken down from the StarzPlay service on Netflix. All parties are working diligently to resolve the issue and return the films to Netflix members.”[Netflix]