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Netflix To Replace Starz With '80s Sex Comedies
LOS GATOS, Calif. (CAP) - Industry insiders are predicting tough times ahead for Netflix, with news of the video service losing hundreds of Starz movie and TV titles just as it increased prices this month. But Netflix executives are saying subscribers needn't worry, given the company's continual acquisition of a "treasure trove" of teenage sex comedies from the 1980s.
"Just this week we started streaming Joysticks, Zapped! and Private Lessons," noted Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings. "And there's plenty more where that came from," he added, mentioning Private School and Private Resort as two other films Netflix hopes to offer in the next year.
"Negotiations are ongoing," Hastings assures. "We hope to have all the Privates before we're done."
Hastings has been doing his best to put a good face on his company's breakdown in talks with Starz, which offered streaming of such popular hits as Disney's Tangled and the series Spartacus: Blood And Sand.
"I doubt viewers will even notice the difference," Hastings said, noting that a subscriber who searches for Tangled will get useful suggestions of similar movies to watch instantly, such as Hot Dog ... The Movie or Losin' It. And those searching for Spartacus will get similarly useful suggestions, such as Hot Dog ... The Movie or Losin' It.
"Ski School, The Last American Virgin, Hot Moves, My Tutor, they're all there," he added.
"Well, not My Tutor, but we are this close," he said, holding his thumb and forefinger very close together.
Subscribers have been up in arms since Netflix announced what amounts to a 60 percent price hike for streaming and DVD rentals, and the latest development only has them more fired up.
"WTF, Netflix? First you raise your prices, and now you're not even going to have the Starz movies?" commented VideoVixen44 on the Netflix Blog. "Now where am I going to watch The Money Pit and First Kid starring Sinbad?"
But Netflix's Hastings says the criticisms only bolster his argument. "Starz movies weren't that great to begin with," he said. "So it's really not a big deal that you can no longer see Dunston Checks In or Steve Austin in Hunt To Kill, not when you have unfettered access to Hardbodies, both 1 and 2."
Hastings also pointed out that not all the teen sex comedies streaming on Netflix are from the '80s. "In fact, we just added such recent releases Wild Cherry, Foreign Exchange, #1 Cheerleader Camp, and all the latest American Pie movies," he said. "You know, the ones that went straight to video with no actors you know except Eugene Levy."
And not all subscribers have complained. "If it has boobs, I'm in," said Josh Elkind, 21, who admits that Netflix streaming is the most fun he's ever had with his iPad.
Netflix's streaming service will also continue to offer its usual collection of old TV shows no one remembers, "classics" with vaguely familiar titles and a handful of quality movies that everybody has already seen dozens of times, according to Hastings.
Pressed by reporters as to whether he'd keep his own Netflix subscription based on that level of offering, however, Hastings admitted that he "mostly just watches HBO GO."
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