The end of February will see the expiration of a content deal between supremely popular video streaming service/movie disc-deliverer Netflix and premium movie channel Starz and that could sprinkle some inconvenience on your home viewing choices. Without the Starz Play offering, Netflix will now be hard-pressed to deliver marquee flicks from studios like Disney on a schedule that consumers have come to expect.
Essentially Netflix was allowing subscribers like us to “get” Starz through Netflix rather than through your cable or satellite TV company. Your Netflix subscription had you covered and Starz was a great way to see those blockbuster theatrical releases a few months after they hit theatres without renting a DVD.
Over the next couple of days, you may want to settle into Netflix and stream movies like “Tangled” and the remake of “Tron” while they’re still there. Also, this isn’t to say recent Disney releases are gone from Netflix forever, it’s just that the company has to do things the hard way and secure the rights directly with studios rather than saving time and money with catch-all deals with a movie channel like Starz. For both Disney and Sony content, Netflix still has work to do.
On the bright side, Dreamworks franchises like “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda” are coming to Netflix beginning in 2013. Between now and then? Books and outdoor activities will have to do.