The company announced a swathe of European launches earlier this year and various reports out of Australia suggest it will set up shop in the country next year.
Graham Burke, the co-CEO of movie distributor Village Roadshow told tech site ZDNet: “[On] Netflix, they’re talking to our people about supply of products, so they are opening and coming to Australia.”
Rumours of an Australian launch for Netflix have been circulating for some time and at the MIPTV programming market in April, Aussie content companies told TBI that it could happen as early as this year. However, 2015 now looks the likely launch date, assuming Netflix can secure local rights to TV series and features.
The Hollywood studios had been reluctant to strike deals as they each have lucrative, long-term programming deals in place with the country’s main free-to-air broadcasters. However, that situation could be changing. Ten Network is understood to be attempting to renegotiate programming deals with CBS Studios International and Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution as part of wider cost-cutting.
An estimated 200,000 Australians already bypass Netflix’s geo-blocking efforts to receive the service. Should the Australian launch finally happen Netflix will be entering a mature market with a modest number of TV homes (8.7 million, according to TBI publisher Informa Telecoms & Media).
There is also already competition in the online TV market, with the likes of Quickflix, Ezyflix and Foxtel’s Presto.