Starz and Sony extend movie deal

Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:22am EST

Feb 11 (Reuters) - Sony Pictures Entertainment and U.S. pay-TV channel Starz extended their agreement that gives Starz exclusive rights to Sony Pictures' movies through 2021, dealing a blow to Netflix Inc's ambitions of striking a deal with the Japanese company.

Netflix signed a landmark deal with Walt Disney Co in December, becoming the first video-delivery service to get exclusive access to all of Disney's major movies, stirring speculation that Netflix would go after Sony Pictures next.

Shares of Starz were up 7 percent at $17.74 in early trading on the Nasdaq, while those of Netflix were down 1.3 percent at $178.63.

The previous agreement between Sony Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp, and Starz covered film releases through 2016, the companies said in a statement.

Sony Pictures' films such as "The Amazing Spider-Man", "21 Jump Street", "Zero Dark Thirty", "Men In Black 3" and "Resident Evil: Retribution" will be shown on Starz channels in 2013.

Starz, spun off from Liberty Media last month, runs eponymous movie and TV channels, as well as the Encore movie channel. It competes with Time Warner Inc's HBO and CBS Corp's Showtime.

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