Netflix Inc. (NFLX), the online and DVD rental service, fell the most in more than a year after John Malone’s Starz LLC cable network ended contract renewal talks in a standoff over pricing.
Netflix slid $22.57, or 9.7 percent, to $210.70 at 9:45 a.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market after Starz, part of Liberty Media Corp., said yesterday it halted talks to renew an online viewing deal. Earlier, shares fell as low as $207.62, or 11 percent, the largest intraday drop since July 22, 2010.
Starz had sought an additional levy on Netflix users for its films and TV shows, and premium placement similar to deals with cable and satellite services, according to a person briefed on the talks who wouldn’t speak publicly.
If the contract lapses as scheduled on Feb. 28, Netflix will be without online access to films from Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) The mail-order and online movie service may lose as much as 15 percent of its 25 million subscribers without Starz, said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. Those would be in addition to defections from a price increase that took effect yesterday.