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Netflix Expanding to 43 Countries in Latin America

5 Jul, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

First foreign streaming expansion beyond Canada will include Mexico

The Caribbean isn’t just for pirates anymore.

Netflix July 5 revealed it will launch streaming service in 43 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean this fall — the first concrete (albeit limited) details of its widely speculated expansion into that part of the world.

In a post on Netflix’s blog, Jessie Becker, VP of marketing, wrote that subscribers in the region would soon be able to access Netflix.com in Spanish, Portuguese or English, and would be able to access streaming rentals on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices, including PCs, Macs and mobile devices.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based online disc rental pioneer's South American expansion plans have been widely speculated as job listings on the company's website sought IT developers and programmers fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. In addition executives at media companies (notably Les Moonves at CBS Corp.) mentioned license rights to Latin America in numerous analyst presentations.

Netflix last summer launched streaming service in Canada — a move that now includes more than 800,000 new subscribers and prompted cable operators and government officials in the country to impose data caps and other protectionist regulations.

“We feel great about being able to offer the same combination of convenience, choice and value to people in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean,” Becker wrote, adding that launch dates in the countries would be forthcoming when finalized.

Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn said the expansion across so many countries is not surprising considering Netflix's growth projections and associated costs.

"They can't launch in just a few countries if they want to keep their growth up," Rayburn said.

He added that the majority of Netflix's license deals for Latin America countries involve rights to content within a particular region and not transferred from the United States.

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