Netflix opens chequebook for Oz/NZ rights

14 July, 2014 by Don Groves

Netflix has made firm offers to the US majors for Australian/New Zealand rights to a wide range of first release and library movies and TV content.

Two Netflix acquisition executives who met with distributors in Sydney last week suggested a mid-2015 launch is on the cards but did not give a firm date.


The initial offers on the table were not universally regarded as the most desirable and are subject to further negotiation, IF has been told.

The US streaming giant is expected to retain the rights to Netflix productions including the third series of House of Cards for the Oz/NZ service.

Foxtel’s showcase aired the first two series of the political drama but has not been offered the third series. The show was also available on Foxtel’s on-demand service. Netflix customarily sells its shows to international broadcasters one series at a time, not on a run-of-show basis.

Netflix has a ready-made base of Australian subscribers. In its Australian Entertainment and Media 2014-2018 Outlook, PwC estimates 200,000 Aussies get Netflix and other international content services via a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which circumvents geoblocking.

The monthly fee for unlimited streaming is expected to be $10, around the same price that Nine Entertainment plans to charge for its Subscription VOD service known internally as StreamCo.

The competition from StreamCo and Netflix is expected to prompt Foxtel to revamp and reprice its SVOD service Presto, which streams all seven Foxtel Movies channels and charges $19.95 per month, plus first-release on-demand movies for the usual per-title fee.

Foxtel is looking to add TV content to Presto and to reduce the monthly fee, IF believes.