Just how big a check is Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) expecting to write for the Starz content that it nabbed for $30 million a year 3 years ago? Well, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he'd guess about $200 million a year when--and if--Netflix manages to sign Starz when the contract between the two companies expires in 2012.
Original Starz series like Party Down would possibly run on a 90-day delay under its new policy.
But, he's not acting like a no-go would be that devastating to the new Netflix now. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Hasting said, "We'll try to renew with them, and of course that renewal if it happens will be for a lot more money."
BTIG analysts Richard Greenfield, in a blog post, wrote that he believed a deal with Starz would cost Netflix between $250 million and $300 million, noting that Comcast, which now has fewer subs than Netflix does, pays Starz an estimated $220 million.
Complicating the Starz deal could be the programmer's new policy that original Starz series would have a 90-day delay before they would be available to Netflix, something Hastings has said he's fine with, but something that potentially could drop their value to Netflix.
Netflix, of course, is in the process of developing its own original content, with at least one project in the works and two or three more being considered.
An always cagey Hastings told Rose, when asked if Netflix developing its own content should serve as a warning to other programmers, like HBO, that the two companies are looking to attract the same customers to different products.
"We're like baseball, and they're like football. That is, we have no overlap in content, but we sell to the same person, the same aficionados are passionate about our products," he said. "But I don't think the NFL worries about baseball encroaching on their territory."
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