Shares of Liberty Media Corp., the owner of cable network Starz LLC, fell the most since May after Netflix Inc. signed a multiyear agreement with Walt Disney Co.
Netflix last year failed to agree to a new contract with Starz, causing the online movie rental company to lose films from Sony Pictures and Disney. Tuesday’s Disney contract alleviates the loss of Starz content for Netflix and gives the Los Gatos, California-based company exclusive access to first-run TV rights to animated and live-action films in 2016, potentially diminishing Starz’s value to consumers, Vijay Jayant, an analyst at New York-based ISI Group, said in an e- mail.
“It reads like the replacement of the Starz contract,” Jayant said. “Let’s see what it does to Starz subscriptions in 2016.”
Disney’s deal with Netflix for first-run content emphasizes the importance to Starz of developing “robust original content” to replace the lost films, Anthony DiClemente, an analyst at Barclays Plc in New York, said in a note to clients.
Starz will have exclusive access to all Disney movies and their digital streaming rights into early 2017, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Starz said its decision not to renew with Disney allows the channel to focus on “exclusive, premium- quality original series” to compete with Time Warner Inc.’s HBO and CBS Corp.’s Showtime.
Liberty Media sank 4.9 percent to $105.56 at the close, the steepest one-day drop since May 17. Netflix rose 14 percent to $86.65, its largest one-day gain since Jan. 26.
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