Want to See Starz on Netflix? You’ve Got Until February

So much for Starz movies on Netflix. Negotiations between the two companies have fallen through, and Starz has announced that it’ll stop providing movies for Netflix’s streaming catalog on February 28, 2012.

Netflix had paid an estimated $30 million for Starz content in 2008, which in hindsight was a steal. Three years ago, Netflix had just started appearing on set-top boxes like the Xbox 360, and Hulu was still getting off the ground. To renew the deal with Starz, Netflix had earmarked $250 million, according to the AP.

UPDATE: Here’s a story by the L.A. Times’ Ben Fritz that says Netflix offered $300 million, but Starz wanted tiered pricing, which would charge subscribers a premium to view its content. Interesting, but not surprising, that Netflix didn’t want to go that route.

Starz said it wants to “protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content.” Media companies have become nervous about Netflix’s grip on the streaming video business, and are hoping to drive up prices by shopping their content around.

This looks like a lose-lose-lose to me. Netflix users obviously lose a whole bunch of content. With less content, Netflix will have a harder time killing the DVD, which according to some pundits was the company’s true motivation for raising prices. Starz, meanwhile, just left up to $300 million on the table, with no guarantee that it’ll make that money back without Netflix.

Still, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sees the up side: Starz content only accounted for 8 percent of Instant Watch viewing, and could account for 5 percent to 6 percent by year-end, as Netflix licenses more content. “We are confident we can take the money we had earmarked for Starz renewal next year, and spend it with other content providers to maintain or even improve the Netflix experience.”

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San Antonians are most at risk for Internet security breaches

San Antonio has been ranked the leading U.S. city that is most vulnerable to online threats, according to a new study by AVG Technologies.

Even though San Antonio has a reputation of being Cyber City USA given its large Department of Defense presence, when it comes to the average consumer, security standards are not as stringent with respect to home Internet, company officials say.

AVG Technologies noted that San Antonio residents are most at risk for fraudulent credit card charges, stolen identities, e-mail security breaches or lost personal data. That’s because local residents have poor security habits on their personal computers and mobile devices like not using a password on their mobile devices or even backing up their phone’s data.

As a result, many local residents are putting themselves at risk for identity thieves, viruses and malware, according to the company.

Chelmsford, Mass.-based AVG develops global security software. The company’s products are protecting 98 million consumers and small businesses in 170 countries.

Nationwide, the survey of more than 8,000 Americans with home Internet access found that:

• 23 percent don’t back up the data on their PC;

• 38 percent admit to sharing online passwords with at least one other person;

• 41 percent never run a manual antivirus scan to ensure their home computer is virus free;

• 67 percent don’t use an identity monitoring service.

“Recent news demonstrates that consumers need to be more vigilant than ever about …