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Starz, Sony Extend Output Deal

Starz Entertainment said Monday that it has agreed to a multi-year extension of its output pact agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment that gives the premium channel exclusive pay TV rights to all Sony Pictures theatrical releases well into the next decade.

The previous agreement between the two had covered movies released theatrically through 2013. The new deal allows Starz exclusive pay TV rights on all platforms and continues the premium channel’s access to interviews and behind-the-scenes material that can be aired by Starz while the movies are in theaters.

In a statement, Starz chief operating officer Bill Myers said that some of the most-watched movies on Starz in recent years have come from Sony, including The Da Vinci Code, the Spider-Man films and The Pursuit of Happyness.

“In 2009 we look forward to airing another great slate including Step Brothers, You Don’tMess with the Zohan, Pineapple Express and Hancock,” Myers said in the statement. “Starz has always prided itself on bringing its customers the best of Hollywood. Sony Pictures films have been critical in meeting that commitment, and we are delighted that our partnership will continue well into the next decade.”

The original output agreement between Starz and Sony was signed in 2000 and took effect with January 2005, releases. In September, 2006, the two companies announced a separate agreement under which Starz obtained the rights to air more than 500 top movie titles from the Sony Pictures library.

Financial terms of the extension were not disclosed.