Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), which just arrived in France, has received direct competition from French cable operator Numericable Group, who launched an offer under which users will be able to watch hundreds of TV series. A per the Wall Street Journal, Numericable is prepping itself to retain the customers not letting them shift when Netflix arrives, and in this bid the company launched its new services, dubbed as “SerieFlix.”
French operators preparing to compete
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Patrick Drahi owned company will offer customers access to fiber box, where they can watch 3,000 episodes of the TV series including Mad Men and much-loved French series such as Plus belle la vie, according to chief executive Jerome Yomtov.
“We will start with 3,000 episodes of TV series a month and add movies a few months from now,” he added.
Reactions from other French operators such as Orange SA, Bouygues Telecom and Iliad SA are yet to come over the expansion of Netflix in France. Orange CEO Stéphane Richard said while giving an interview on the French Radio last week that whether or not operators allow Netflix to run its services on their boxes depends upon the success of the offer from the U.S. firm.
Vivendi SA’s pay TV Canal Plus has already started challenging Netflix. Canal Plus’s service CanalPay has a customer base of 500,000 subscribers to compete with the U.S. firm. Also, the service is launching the offline-viewing feature for adding more content of French TV shows and movies to reflect the domestic roots.
Netflix facing stiff opposition
Netflix has received a cold response and a fair share of criticism in France from politicians, who argue the growing influence of the U.S. culture and business. French film producers have also joined the politicians and said that it would be an “implosion of our cultural model” with the arrival of the U.S. Company.
French telecoms are also reluctant to Netflix launch in France, and have denied allowing the company to offer its service through their triple play box, the most usual way in France to watch TV. In the United States, also, cable companies have always opposed Netflix and made several attempts to deter the popularity of the streaming firm by creating rival services similar to Numericable’s. However, Netflix has gathered a stellar popularity in other countries by expanding its subscriber base.