Netflix outbids Starz for rights to Disney movies

By MICHAEL LIEDTKE Published: December 5, 2012
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The loss had been interpreted as a blow that diminished Netflix's market value.

Investors applauded Netflix Inc. for trumping Starz to get the Disney rights directly from The Walt Disney Co.

Netflix shares surged $10.65, or 14 percent, to close Tuesday at $86.65, its highest closing price since April. That's still far below its peak of nearly $305, reached around the time that Netflix announced it price increase in July 2011. Rates went up as much as 60 percent for those who wanted to stream Internet video and keep receiving DVDs through the mail, too.

The stock of Starz's owner, Liberty Media Corp., sank $5.49, or nearly 5 percent, to $105.56. Disney shares added a penny to $49.30.

It's the first time that one of Hollywood's major studios has sold the first-run rights to Netflix Inc. instead of a premium TV network.