After securing its own original series earlier this month, things seem to be changing for Netflix. Showtime recently announced changes to its Netflix deal that excludes new show episodes from being available on Netflix streaming shortly after they air. Now, Starz has followed suit, declining to add their content to Netflix streaming the day after they air.
As networks start to see Netflix as a competitor rather than an ally, this behavior is likely to continue. In fact, Starz has said it plans to enact a similar policy for movies after the current contract expires in 2012. So, is Netflix just becoming another premium network? I say they are, especially given devices like Apple TV, Google TV, and even mobile devices like the new 3DS with Netflix access. With the right moves, Netflix is poised to be a major threat.
Still, the service is only as good as the content it provides, which means that networks do still have some control over its success and failure. Its first original series won't hit the Internet for at least another year or more, so I'm interested to see what happens in the mean time.