Expect to see Sony Pictures films exclusively on Starz and Encore for the forseeable future. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the premium movie network has officially extended its carriage deal with the entertainment studio through 2021.
"Starz and Encore subscribers have enjoyed the consistently stellar theatrical product from Sony, and we are thrilled to extend our exclusive partnership into the next decade," said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. "Starz will continue to offer the richest premium TV viewing experience for our subscribers and distributors for years to come thanks to Starz' growing original programming slate, along with the robust lineup of new blockbuster Sony releases and our deep movie library."
The deal is reportedly a big get for Starz, which already has seen a 5.6% jump in its shares this morning since the announcement was made. Sony Pictures is a key provider of film content for the premium network, and without the deal Starz would have had to struggle to produce original programming to fill the gaps that would arise in its schedule.
The news comes on the heels of Disney striking a similar carriage deal with Netflix, resulting in Starz losing out on their theatrical releases starting in 2017. Starz is rumored to take the money no longer used for the Disney rights and put it toward developing more original programming.
"Starz has been a terrific partner and we are excited to be extending our relationship with them through the 2021 slate," said John Weiser, president of US distribution for Sony Pictures Television.