Netflix Meeting With European Government Officials4 Dec, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Streaming service expands license agreement with Canadian Broadcast Corp., announces ‘House of Cards’ second season bow on Valentine’s Day
Netflix reportedly has met with representatives of French President Francois Hollande to discuss the country’s pay-TV windows — key to rollout of a subscription video-on-demand service. Netflix is also meeting with German officials and other European governments as it seeks to up its first-mover advantage in the nascent global SVOD market.
Netflix, which is available in 41 countries, including most recently Holland, met with French officials regarding the country’s protectionist laws prohibiting distribution of home entertainment in regards to theatrical windows.
Current French law limits SVOD services from streaming movies until three years after their theatrical bow. The same movies, however, can be rented from a multichannel video program distributor’s set-top box four months after theatrical launch. The discrepancy has all but scuttled previous attempts by media companies to launch SVOD.
“Netflix wanted information about the legal conditions that would affect its potential arrival in France," an official at the president’s office told Reuters, which first reported the story.
Separately, Netflix Canada announced it inked an expanded license agreement with Canadian Broadcast Corp., for new seasons of currently available CBC TV shows on Netflix, including “Republic of Doyle,” “Heartland,” “Mr. D, Dragons’ Den” and other titles. Additionally, the deal will add CBC fan-favorite “Murdoch Mysteries” to the service for the first time.
“Through this agreement Canadians will continue to enjoy a range of CBC programming on Netflix,” said Bob Kerr , senior director, licensing division, CBC revenue group. “We are delighted that Netflix continues to invest in CBC as a provider of high quality Canadian content.”
Finally, Netflix announced it will begin streaming the second season of Emmy-winning “House of Cards,” on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14, 2014). The series co-stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, the latter slated to direct an episode as well.