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Netflix rolls into 130 counties

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has announced that the US streamer is launching in a further 130 countries immediately, including India, Turkey, Russia and South Korea.

Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings

Hastings announced the launches during his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, bringing the total number of territories in which the SVoD giant is now available to 190.

Netflix remains unavailable in China, although Hastings told delegates that it remains intent on having a presence in the country in the future. Crimea, North Korea and Syria also remain off limits, due to US government restrictions on American companies.

Other countries to get the service as of today include Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, while it is now available in 21 different languages, including Korean and Arabic for the first time.

Launches in India and Russia this month had already been tipped, but the scale of its expansion today means the streamer will likely complete its full global roll-out ahead of time, having been aiming for the end of 2016.

Hastings said: “Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global internet TV network. With this launch, consumers around the world – from Singapore to St Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo – will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously, no more waiting.

“With the help of the internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”

Hastings also said Netflix will produce 600 hours of original content in 2016, including movies from Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow and Angelina Jolie.

The output will include 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a wide range of stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids’ series.

That includes The Crown, its first original from the UK. The drama, which cost around US$100m to make, follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II. It hails from Left Bank Pictures and the first trailer was released today.

Earlier in the day, the US streamer announced comedian Ricky Gervais’s comedy film Special Correspondents will debut in April.

The movie, which stars Gervais and Eric Bana, follows a struggling US journalist who fakes front-line war reports from the comfort of his hide-out in the heart of Manhattan.

Netflix’s shares jumped by 5.7% following the announcements, making up for the initial slump the company experienced at the beginning of this week after reporting that its operating income in 2015 had fallen short of expectations.


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