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Starz renews deal to get Sony movies through 2021; deal seen as must-win for channel

Premium pay TV channel Starz has renewed its agreement to carry movies from Sony Pictures through films hitting theaters in 2021. The deal comes two months after Netflix snatched future Disney movies from Starz, and was seen as a must-win for the channel.

The deal will extend Sony's relationship with Starz by five years.

Analysts speculated that Starz is paying anywhere from $250 million to $400 million per year, an increase from the estimated $200 million it is paying Sony currently.

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said the network believes the terms are consistent with other deals between traditional pay TV networks and Hollywood studios.

Starz shares rose 8 percent to $18.04 in midday trading. Netflix shares fell 2 percent to $176.89. Sony shares rose 5 cents to $14.97.

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