Netflix is set to tighten its grip on the French market after Orange's CEO revealed the operator has become the second in the country to sign a direct content distribution deal with the U.S.-based video streaming company.
Orange CEO Stephane Richard
Stephane Richard revealed at a conference in Paris that Orange will add Netflix to its set top boxes (STB) in November, opening the door to some 10 million subscribers for the U.S. company, Bloomberg reported.
Netflix agreed to pay Orange a share of its revenue for carrying its video traffic, and the operator could also allow Netflix to broadcast on its infrastructure, the news agency added.
The move will pitch Orange into direct competition with Bouygues Telecom, which is also gearing up to offer Netflix services in November to STB and mobile customers. Netflix plans to offer Bouygues customers access to U.S. and French TV series and movies on TV's, tablets, smartphones, PCs, and games consoles for €7.99 ($10.13) per month.
Richard's remarks came a day after Belgian incumbent Belgacom announced its own direct deal with Netflix--the company's first in the country. The operator is adding Netflix to its Proximus TV service and revealed the move as part of a broader rebranding exercise designed to better reflect its status as a provider of converged mobile, TV, and fixed communication services.
Netflix in May revealed ambitions to extend its services into Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The expansion builds on current deals with operators in the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland.
Research company Enders Analysis in August placed Netflix well ahead of a rival video streaming service from Amazon. The company estimated that at least 3 million UK households were subscribed to Netflix at that point, and noted the figure was around double compared to a year earlier.
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