Netflix is extending its relationship with indie-studio Lionsgate, signing a multi-year deal with the studio's U.K. division that may signal the streaming video giant's intent to soon enter the European market.
Netflix earlier this year signed a deal with Lionsgate to have streaming access to seven seasons of Mad Men in the U.S., and last year signed a multiplatform content deal with Lionsgate, which partnered in the launch of Epix.
If Netflix launches in the U.K., as earlier rumors have speculated, it would go head-to-head with Amazon's (Nasdaq: AMZN) LoveFilm, which has already established a streaming service in Great Britain and in several countries on the continent. Amazon picked up LoveFilm in January, in a deal estimated to cost the e-tail giant $312 million. LoveFilm, meanwhile, in July increased its staff in the U.K. by 20 percent, tipping a move to expand its own digital service in the U.K. and Europe. It currently has services in Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Last month, Netflix announced plans to rollout streaming service to 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and has acknowledged plans to launch more operations overseas in the coming year. The service also announced it recently signed up its one-millionth subscriber in Canada, where it launched a streaming-only service in September.
- see this Reuters article
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