Bouygues Telecom to launch Netflix streaming video service in November

Bouygues Telecom is the latest European operator to sign a deal offering customers direct access to Netflix, as the U.S. video streaming company continues its expansion in the region.

The French operator today revealed it will launch unlimited Netflix video-on-demand services on its Bbox Sensation set-top box (STB) and mobile devices in November. A forthcoming Android STB will also be included in the deal, the operator stated.

France is the latest country where Netflix has signed a direct content deal with an operator, as the streaming company expands its presence in Europe. The service is already available in the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands. Netflix in May revealed plans to extend its service into Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Bouygues Telecom CEO Olivier Roussat said the partnership forms part of his company's commitment to offer subscribers "access to the best innovative content at home and on the move."

Netflix revealed the operator will charge €7.99 ($10.32) per month for the service, which offers access to U.S. and French TV series and movies on TVs, tablet PCs, smartphones, games consoles and regular PCs. Reed Hastings, Netflix' CEO and co-founder, said "French viewers will have instant access to a multitude of movies and series, where and when they wish."

The service in France faces competition from local pay-TV operator Canal Plus and Orange, which have each launched rival streaming services Reuters reported.

Bouygues Telecom plans to make the Netflix service available to mobile subscribers on its LTE network, which it states is the largest in France. Recent figures from Citrix revealed mobile subscribers on LTE networks are 1.5 times more likely to watch video than 3G users, and that LTE users also view video for longer. The company revealed 76 per cent of Netflix users watch for five minutes or more when on LTE networks, compared to 65 per cent on 3G.

Netflix' international expansion is gathering pace during 2014. The company revealed the number of international users paying for its service grew from 11.76 million in the first quarter to 12.91 million in the second quarter. Total international membership increased from 12.68 million to 13.8 million.

For more:
- read Netflix' statement [in French]
- see Bouygues Telecom's announcement [in French]
- view Netflix' Q214 shareholder statement [PDF]
- read this Reuters article

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