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Netflix Bows Service in Sweden

15 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix Oct. 15 said it has officially launched streaming rental service in Sweden — the first of several Scandinavian countries earmarked for subscription video-on-demand in the fourth quarter.

Following a free 30-day trial, Netflix costs 79kr per month ($11.82), enabling streaming access to full seasons of TV shows such as AMC Network’s “The Walking Dead,” Fox’s “24” and BBC’s “Sherlock,” among others. Movies include Lionsgate’s The Expendables, The Matrix and Happy Feet Two (Warner), in addition to Swedish TV shows such as “Bron” and related movies.

The Warner movies underscore Time Warner’s softening approach toward SVOD (and Netflix) in licensing catalog content already distributed through conventional channels, including packaged media and transactional VOD, among others.

Warner Home Video currently imposes a 56-day embargo on new-release discs to Netflix in the United States, in addition to 28-day delays to kiosks and video stores.

“Starting today, Swedish subscribers join almost 30 million of our members from over 50 countries who enjoy our service over the Internet streaming to smart TVs, game consoles, computers, tablets, mobile devices and more,” Erik Barmack, director of content, wrote in a blog post.

“We’ve built up quite a collection of kid’s titles and have a special section (‘Just for Kids’) devoted to safe, age-appropriate content for your little ones under 12 years of age,” Barmack wrote. “If your son or daughter likes Babar, or dinosaurs or cartoons — they should be quite happy with Netflix.”

Netflix is slated to launch SVOD service (no discs) later this year in Finland, Norway and Denmark.

Separately, Netflix and the National Association of the Deaf Oct. 10 submitted a joint consent decree to a federal court in Springfield, Mass., ensuring closed captions in 100% of Netflix streaming content within two years. Netflix, which had provided closed captioning for 90% of its programming, must also pay $755,000 in legal fees, in addition to $40,000 to assist in monitoring the decree.

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