Early estimates at what it would cost Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to re-up Starz as a content provider were pegged at a pretty hefty $300 million per year, but at least one published report is saying the price tag could go higher, to $350 million or more.
The New York Post, citing its seemingly endless list of "unnamed sources," in this case a "top pay-TV executive familiar with Starz's thinking," said they were told the content company is "looking at something north of $350 million." Whether that's Maine-north, or Arctic Circle-north remains to be seen, but the conventional wisdom seems to be in agreement it will be substantially more than the $200 million annually Netflix agreed to pay Epix last year.
The current Starz deal runs through the first quarter of 2012, ending a sweetheart deal that cost Netflix $30 million a year, and which helped it grow its streaming business to more than 23 million subscribers.
It's been the nexus for some vitriolic exchanges between the parties, including a blasé Nextflix CEO Reed Hastings essentially says, "What, me worry?" and playing down the importance of Starz.
Netflix has added a lot of content lately and continues to find programmers happy to license content to it. Will it land Starz? Stay tuned.
- see this New York Post story
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