It’s tale as old as time – or close: Streaming service has content yanked by label because of largely unacknowledged legal holdups. Netflix has fallen victim to this dilemma before and now it will again as Starz has told Netflix to pull Sony movies while the subscription service works out a new deal with the label. The two upsides to the situation are that Netflix is only forbidden from Sony content for the week, and that Netflix and Sony aren’t the ones duking it out – because in those cases, the streaming service usually loses.
Netflix VP of content acquisition Pauline Fischer addressed the issue straight on in a blog post, stressing that Sony movies will be back. “You may have noticed that Sony movies through StarzPlay are not currently available to watch instantly. This is the result of temporary contract issue between Sony and Starz and, while these two valued partners work through their differences, we hope you are enjoying the wide variety of new movies and TV shows added daily.”
A few years ago, Sony and Starz reached a long-term agreement allowing Starz access to more than 500 Sony movie titles as well as the rights to offer up the content on various platforms (including Netflix). The deal was supposed to last until 2014, but Deadline reports that Starz reached an IP distribution cap and now has to reevaluate the terms. And while Netflix is a victim in this debacle, its remarkable growth is possibly to blame here. If you were planning to watch Salt or The Social Network this weekend, you might want to make other plans.