Netflix looking for telecoms partners in Belgium: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 19, 2014 5:21 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. video streaming service Netflix is in talks with cable and telecoms groups to distribute its content in Belgium, Belgian media reported on Friday, the day the company launched its on-demand service in the country.

Netflix is talking with telecoms group Belgacom and privately held cable operator Voo, in an effort to mirror distribution deals with Deutsche Telekom in Germany and Bouygues in France, business daily L'Echo wrote.

While Netflix is available online and many newer TV sets and media players have a Netflix application built in, partnering with a telecoms company may help reach those customers who do not have access to such technology.

Both former state telecoms monopoly Belgacom, which has 1.5 million TV customers, and Voo, which has nearly 1 million in French-speaking region of Wallonia, declined to comment. Netflix was not immediately available for comment.

Cable operator Telenet, which has 2 million TV subscribers, was not mentioned in the report, as the company has feverishly stepped up its preparations to fend off Netflix by launching its own on-demand library.

On Wednesday, Telenet announced it had renewed its partnership with U.S. broadcaster HBO for exclusive access to its hit series such as Game of Thrones and announced it would start to make its own Dutch-language TV series.

Neflix launched its service in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg this week for 7.99 euros ($10.29) or 11.90 Swiss francs ($12.70) per month.

It is also available in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Tom Heneghan)