Starz Stocks Up Film Vault With Five Deals

Starz Entertainment has extended its exclusive premium-channel access to first-run movies from Sony Pictures Television and Disney-ABC Domestic Television, and signed acquisition deals for library titles from Warner Bros., MGM and Universal Pictures.

The Starz premium channels – despite newly venturing into scripted series – primarily are movie services, and “extending our relationships with five major studios shows our continued commitment to providing top notch product to our consumers and affiliates,” programming executive vice president Stephen Shelanski said in a release.

Starz said the five agreements give the Starz channels access to about 1,200 movie and TV series titles.

Sony and Disney both had options to renew their arrangements with Starz, which is owned by John Malone’s Liberty Media.

The agreement provides for distribution across Starz's multiple platforms: 16 linear channels, Starz HD, Starz On Demand, Starz Play and Vongo, the broadband download service.

Liberty’s 2006 year-end securities filing (its 10-K report) said Starz agreed to pay Sony $190 million – starting with a $47.5 million payment in 2011 – if Sony renewed the deal, in addition to payments for the films.

Disney doesn’t get any fees beyond what Starz pays for films, under the renewal, according to the 10-K.

Starz didn’t release financial terms in the release but said provisions outlined in the Liberty 10-K weren’t changed.

Starz said its Disney and Sony deals were extended until 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Top future titles to Starz from Sony Pictures include Hancock (Will Smith), Angels and Demons (Tom Hanks) and Don’t Mess With Zohan (Adam Sandler). Disney titles include National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Enchanted, as well as the current No Country for Old Men from Miramax Films, nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture.

The library agreements with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, MGM Worldwide Television Group and Universal Pictures represent new pacts, although Starz has had library deals with those studios in the past.

Starz gains access to such films from Warner Bros. as The Road Warrior, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Full Metal Jacket, Interview with the Vampire, Risky Business, Heat, Natural Born Killers, 2001: A Space Odyssey,  L.A. Confidential,  Dog Day Afternoon, The Shawshank Redemption, Blade Runner, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Batman, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, Batman Returns, The Exorcist 1-3, Lethal Weapon1-3, Police Academy 1-7, Superman 1-3,  Superman Returns and legendary Western television series such as The Lawman, Maverick, Cheyenne, and How the West Was Won

Titles from MGM include Hannibal, Hotel Rwanda, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart,  17 James Bond films, Fargo, Top Gun, The Usual Suspects, In the Heat of the Night, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!, The ManchurianCandidate (1962), Ronin, Robocop1-3, Mad Max, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, Inspector ClouseauReturn of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Revenge of the Pink Panther,  Trail of the Pink Panther, Curse of the Pink PantherSon of the Pink Panther, The Amityville Horror, Raging Bull and Leaving Las Vegas.

Universal Pictures titles include John Waters’ Hairspray, Mulholland Drive, Conan the Barbarian, Death Becomes Her, The Crow, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Minnie and Moskowitz, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, The Last Temptation of Christ, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Virginian, Wagon Train, Winchester 73, The Lonely Guy, Henry & June, Melvin and Howard, The Milagro Beanfield War, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Secrets & Lies and Nightmare on Elm Street 3-4.