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ORF’s Austrian SVOD JV to fight Netflix, Amazon

Austrian pubcaster ORF has entered into a joint venture with local SVOD portal Flimmit in a bid to counteract overseas players Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

ORF’s commercial arm ORF Enterprise will supply indie on-demand start-up Flimmit with premium German-language and European-produced movies, series and documentaries after upping its investment in the company from a minority share to an 88% stake.

The selected titles will have “high European and national recognition value and act as a counterbalance to mainstream American VOD platforms”, the pubcaster said – a clear reference to Netflix and Amazon’s participation in the territory.

Flimmit currently offers around 4,000 films, documentaries, drama series, art house, niche and independent content for €7.50 (US$8) per month, or €19.90 for a three-month subscription.

ORF has made the move to strengthen European VOD players against overseas competitors and to improve relations between buyers and other international partners.

This would allow “Austrian film and TV productions [to] conquer a new market, adding up to refinancing possibilities”.

“With this new joint venture ORF Enterprise has a new and very efficient distribution channel for its catalogue,” said ORFE managing director Beatrice Cox-Riesenfelder.

“ORF productions will be made accessible to a broad audience and can provide additive utilisation opportunities for producers. Thereby ORF can position itself in a nonlinear field as an attractive, innovative partner supporting the success of productions that are ‘made in Austria’.”