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Sony Ups Netflix Access in the U.K. and Ireland

25 Apr, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sony is making access to Netflix streaming in the United Kingdom and Ireland easier by incorporating the rental service on the Sony Entertainment Network and 2012 Bravia televisions, Blu-ray Disc players and media players.

Now, owners of 2012 Bravia devices and PlayStation 3 in the United Kingdom and Ireland can access Netflix rental streams (with a subscription) directly via apps connected to Sony Entertainment Network.

Foster City, Calif.-based Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) and Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix April 24 announced the enhancements to a U.S. partnership that began in 2009 when Netflix was first available on Bravia devices.

There was no mention if Sony Entertainment Network would eventually accommodate direct billing of Netflix subscriptions, which is possible on new Apple TVs. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has made no secret his desire to subcontract Netflix streaming to multichannel video program distributors such as cable and satellite TV.

While enabling access to Netflix on cable and satellite would appear to circumvent video programmers’ efforts to roll out proprietary and competitive streaming services, it would also be a source of incremental revenue. How much, remains a mystery. When Hastings April 24 in a call with analysts was asked the percentage Netflix is paying Apple for screen presence on Apple TV, he declined comment.

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