Netflix in talks with Belgian operators for new distribution deal

Netflix is in talks with cable and telecoms operators in Belgium to provide it with an alternative form of distribution, following the launch of its on-demand TV and video service in the country last Friday.

The U.S. company is looking to broaden its potential to gain new customers outside of its regular internet-streamed service, following similar distribution deals between itself and Deutsche Telekom in Germany and Bouygues Telecom in France.

"If Netflix is available on the same remote and decoder as traditional TV, it will be even simpler to watch Netflix on a TV set," a Netflix spokesperson told Reuters.

The spokesperson also confirmed that talks with Belgian cable and telecoms operators were ongoing.

Nonetheless Telenet, a cable operator with around 2 million subscribers in Belgium and which is majority owned by Liberty Global, said it was not in talks with Netflix, according to Reuters; the company has created its own on-demand service in a bid to counter Netflix' arrival.

The other key cable operator in Belgium, Voo, has around 1 million subscribers in the French-speaking area called Wallonia, while former state-owned Belgacom has around 1.5 million TV subscribers.

Netflix launched services in Belgium and Luxembourg on Friday last week, culminating a week of events that also introduced Netflix to France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

More than 63 million broadband households in these six European countries can now subscribe to Netflix and access Netflix original programming as well as local and global TV shows and movies via a range of devices.

"We've received a very warm welcome throughout Europe," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO. "Consumers love choice--in series and films and in when and where they watch. We are delighted people are embracing Netflix in our newest territories and, particularly, the incredible viewer enthusiasm for our original series."

Netflix emphasised that it provides programmes with local-language options, including subtitles and dubbing on foreign language movies and TV shows.

In coming months more titles will be added to its European services, the company added.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Netflix announcement

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