Please wait...
Please wait...

Netflix unveils European expansion

US video streaming service Netflix will launch in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg this year.

The company, which branched out into UK and Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in 2012 and the Netherlands last year, said it would land in the six new European territories in late 2014.

There’s been much speculation about where exactly the House of Cards creator planned to make its debut next after CEO Reed Hastings told shareholders earlier this year that the firm intended “substantial European expansion” in the next 12 months.

Meetings with French officials towards the end of 2013 generated headlines, with the country’s regulatory framework presenting particular challenges for new entrants to its VoD market. Germany was said to be next on the itinerary.

Last month, it was reported that Netflix – which has some 48 million subscribers – had set up base in Luxembourg to bypass any legal obstacles in France.

The company provided few details today in its announcement of the expansion but confirmed that Europe’s two largest television markets are certainly on the road map during the next few months.

In France, Netflix will present a particular challenge to pay TV group Canal+, which has already acquired rights to the Bafta award-winning House of Cards and stepped up emphasis on its CanalPlay VoD service in anticipation.

According to French newspaper Le Figaro today, the launch there will take place between September 15 and 19 and Netflix has already commissioned an unnamed producer to make an original French series, to be shot in Marseilles.

In Germany, the company will take on another Vivendi-backed business, Watchever, as well as ProSeibenSat.1’s MaxDome, Sky Deutschland’s Snap and Amazon Instant Video, which rebranded from LoveFilm earlier this year.

Netflix said today that it would offer customers in the six new European markets a “curated selection of Hollywood, local and global TV series and movies, including critically-acclaimed Netflix original series, whenever and wherever they like on TVs, tablets, phones, game consoles and computers.

“Further details, including pricing, programming and supported devices will be available at a later date,” the company added.


Please wait...