Netflix Sees Starz

Movie provider Netflix has officially announced a partnership with Starz. Netflix will offer subscribers 2,500 additional movies from Starz Play, and it says that the first 1,000 Starz titles are already available. This is a boost to Netflix's current offering of about 12,000 titles.

This is a major step for Netflix, which has been weak in its current offerings. Although great in number, their catalog is often deficient in recent releases because studios will not allow those flicks to be available for instant streaming. Starz will help address that, with reasonably timely titles such as No Country for Old Men, Superbad, and Ratatouille. Starz also offers independent films, concerts, and classic movies. This deal challenges Comcast and Verizon, which offer similar services for newly released movies, and Netflix's deep catalog of oldies gives it real beef. In any case, this deal will allow Netflix subscribers to stream the Starz TV network to their PCs.

And now, the fine print . . .

If you thought the availability of Starz was going to add only a buck or two to the Netflix subscription cost, think again. Actually, it won't cost you anything extra. All Netflix subscribers with unlimited subscription packages ($8.99 and up) can access the Starz Play selections. And, if you have an Xbox 360, you probably know that the soon-to-be-announced dashboard update will enable Netflix streaming (some of you are already doing this unofficially).

Netflix just keeps getting better. I wish I could say the same for Hollywood films. -Ken C. Pohlmann