Stranger Things have happened: TV company Liberty Global in new Netflix tie-up

William Turvill
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Liberty Global and chill: The Netflix deal will be rolled out across 2017 (Source: Getty)

Cable TV company Liberty Global has announced a new tie-up with online movie giant Netflix.

Under the multi-year agreement, Netflix programmes such as Stranger Things, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black will be available to Liberty customers across more than 30 countries.

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Netflix, which claims to have more than 83m members across 190 countries, has had a similar arrangement in place with Liberty-owned Virgin Media since 2013.

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings said:

This partnership builds on our strong relationship with Virgin Media in the UK, allowing millions of our mutual customers around the world to easily access the broadest range of TV shows and movies without having to search for that other remote control. Combining the Netflix app - and all the great content it provides - into the familiar, easy-to-use cable box makes both more appealing.

Liberty said the new deal “complements [its] investment through acquisitions, partnerships and original commissions alongside the $2.5bn spent each year on licensed content for its video platforms”.

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Chief executive Mike Fries said:

We are committed to bringing the best content to our customers, and are thrilled to expand our partnership with Netflix. This deal will provide even more freedom to our subscribers – allowing them to access a goldmine of amazing TV and films at the click of a button, fully integrated into their usual TV viewing set-up.

The Netherlands will be the first Liberty Global territory to launch Netflix, with the company aiming for a full roll-out through 2017.

Paolo Pescatore, director of multi-play and media at CCS Insight, commented:

Arguably this is a bigger deal for Netflix who has been struggling to grow its base outside of the US in recent quarters; this despite being available globally. Second quarter subscriber growth was poor, not only for its home market but overseas as well. Netflix needs subscribers and it needs them fast. It is still growing, but not quickly enough in light of its growing costs. A tie-up with Liberty Global gives Netflix more reach and we expect to see more telco and cable relationships over coming months.