Netflix Finds Broadcast Barriers to U.K. and Ireland Expansion
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), looking to repeat its success in America with internet based video streaming, is set to launch its service in U.K. and Ireland in “early” 2012, but is apparently finding it difficult to source successful content for the service.
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Though the company sealed a deal with BBC this week, shows such as the high profile Top Gear can be aired by Netflix only six months after BBC. A likely deal with broadcaster ITV Pic is reportedly not going to include top-rated shows such as Downton Abbey. It appears, therefore, that Europe is going to be no pushover for Netflix, what with the best content in the hands of a “cabal” of broadcasters who also have their own streaming services.
“Broadcasters are controlling a lot of the premium, online, video-on-demand business in the U.K.,” said Rio Caraeff, chief executive officer of Vevo Llc, a video-streaming company backed by Vivendi’s Universal Music and Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE). “They’re able to protect their television business by packaging it with their online business.”
“The U.K. is a competitive market and we look forward to offering the people of the U.K. and Ireland a great service with fantastic content and ease of use,” said Joris Evers, a Netflix spokesman. The company this month reiterated that it currently doesn’t prepare to expand into European markets beyond the U.K. and Ireland.
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