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Universal Signs Content Deal With Starz

By Gary Symons

TLL Editor in Chief

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has signed a content agreement with Starz, filling out a network of interlocking agreements that provide a long-term home for its content.

The agreement means that Universal films will be streamed first on Peacock, then on Amazon Prime Video, and finally on Starz. Here’s a brief outline on how the interlocking agreements will work.

First, UFEG plans to stream movies on NBC Universal’s streaming service Peacock for the first 120 days after the theatrical release of its films.

After that point, as reported earlier in The Licensing Letter story below, UFEG has signed a deal with Amazon that will see Prime Video exclusively stream Universal’s 2022 and future live-action titles during the middle ten month period of that 18-month window (months 5-14), while Netflix will stream the studio’s animation features.

Amazon Inks Streaming Deal With Universal, IMDb

This period covered by the agreements with Peacock and Prime is known as the Pay-One window. Immediately following the Pay-One window, at month 15, Starz will then get exclusive access in the US for all of Universal’s live action films, beginning with the studio’s 2022 releases.

The agreement also includes a selection from UFEG’s library of existing movies.

The deal is critical for Starz, which is owned by Lionsgate, as Sony recently signed a deal with Netflix that replaced its long-running Pay-One window with Starz.

Netflix Snags Landmark Film Deal With Sony Pictures

“This agreement with UFEG allows Starz to continue deepening our premium content offering for our subscribers with Universal’s award-winning and critically-acclaimed film slate, that complements our existing extensive film library and original programming,” said Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch.

Starz also gets access to all of the theatrical releases from Lionsgate and Summit after those studios’ current agreements expire. Lionsgate’s Pay-One deal expires at the end of this year, while Summit’s will expire at the end of 2022.

The Starz agreement takes on even more importance in the outcome of the ongoing streaming wars after Amazon acquired MGM last month. For full details, click the story link below.

Amazon Shakes Up Streaming With MGM Acquisition