NETFLIX will attempt to wrestle Sky’s grip on premium movie rights away from it, a move that could provide a serious challenge to the broadcaster’s film dominance.
Reed Hastings, the chief executive of the US film streaming service, has outlined his intentions to bid for exclusive rights to films from the six leading Hollywood studios, which have long been held by Sky’s movie channels.
Sky’s launch of a similar internet streaming service, Now TV, last month suggests it sees Netflix as a serious threat. Ironically, Sky was allowed to maintain its grip on the premium film market last month, with the competition commission ruling that the introduction of services such as Netflix had diluted Sky’s dominance.
Hastings told the Sunday Telegraph that Netflix will be “really aggressive” in bidding for the rights. Netflix UK – which costs £5.99 a month compared with Now TV’s £15 – has signed up over one million customers.
Netflix’s move is the latest challenge to Sky, after BT splashed out £738m in June on a deal to show 38 Premier League matches.