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Disney and Starz Reach Agreement on Launch of ‘Star+’ Service in Brazil

Jeff Kotuby

The latest battle in the Disney/Starz saga has its result. An agreement drawn in a São Paulo, Brazil court left Disney with the okay to use the ‘Star+’ name in Brazil.

According to published reports in Brazil, Disney agreed to pay Starz 50 million Reais (about $9.6 million USD) for the rights to use the ‘Star+’ name in Brazil — allowing it to move forward with its planned August 31 launch date.

“Each of the parties will bear the costs and procedural expenses that it has incurred and the attorney’s fees of their respective patrons, and any remaining court costs must be apportioned equally between the parties”, says the document that confirms the agreement in court. “Starz also requires that the withdrawal of the guarantee given on pages 189/190 by its patrons be authorized. Terms in which they ask for a deferral.”

Last month, Lionsgate-owned Starz took Disney to court in advance of the anticipated August 31 launch of Star+ in Brazil. A temporary restraining order issued at the time, initially meant that Disney could use the “Star+” name, because, it was argued, it could be too easily confused with “Starz.”


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“Obviously, a consumer, when referring to the streaming services offered by the parties, will not do so by saying that he watched a movie through ‘STARZPLAY’ or ‘STARPLUS,’ but simply through ‘STAR,’” said judge Jorge Tosta at the time. “There is the possibility of the consumer confusing or linking one trademark to another as if it belonged to the same business or economic group.”

The “Star” brand is used by Disney in this context to differentiate its first-party shows and movies from its third-party, acquired properties. Star-affiliated content consists of programs produced by 20th Century Fox, Searchlight Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, and Hollywood Pictures — not unlike Hulu is used by Disney to carry some content from ABC, FX, FreeForm, and FXX in the United States.


STARZ offers a subscription video streaming service that gives access to content on STARZ without the need of a cable subscription. With your subscription, you’ll get access to all of their current originals like Outlander, Vida, and Power.

With your subscription, you’ll also get access to their critically acclaimed catalog of previous shows, as well as past seasons of shows like “Friday Night Lights”, “The Bernie Mac Show”, “ALF”, and “Miami Vice” and “Knight Rider.”

STARZ also has new-release films from Sony Pictures, which appear on the streaming service 7-8 months after they are in theaters. Every month they also have hundreds of additional older movies from major movie studios.

You can subscribe for $8.99 a month either directly from STARZ, or through Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, or Roku Premium Subscriptions.

While Tuesday’s result is not necessarily a full victory for Disney, the overall ordeal isn’t quite over yet. Lionsgate and Starz have filed similar lawsuits in Mexico and Argentina. In Mexico, nothing has happened with the case yet. An Argentinian court will be moving forward with the case after denying Starz a temporary restraining order. There is, of course, the other legal battle Disney has on its hands.


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