Sony Pictures, Starz extend pay TV agreement

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Entertainment and Starz Entertainment have signed a multi-year extension of their agreement, which grants Starz the exclusive pay television rights to all Sony Pictures theatrical releases well into the next decade.

The previous agreement between the two companies had covered motion pictures released theatrically through 2013. The new agreement allows Starz exclusive pay television rights to exhibit the Sony Pictures films on all Starz platforms. It also provides that Starz continues to have the rights to interviews with talent and behind-the-scenes material from Sony Pictures releases that can be aired by Starz services while the films are in theaters. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Starz president and chief operating officer Bill Myers said, "Sony Pictures has been a fabulous partner for Starz for many years. 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 Happiness. In 2009 we look forward to airing another great slate including Step Brothers, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Pineapple Express and Hancock. 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."

"We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Starz well into the future. With movies like Angels & Demons, 2012 and Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three on our slate this year, Starz can look forward to the best, most sought-after films for their customers," said Sony Pictures Television president distribution John Weiser.

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.

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