September 23, 2010, 5:22 PM

Netflix launches streaming content for Canadian consumers

The service marks the company’s first venture outside the United States.

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Netflix Inc. today launched a service that enables consumers in Canada to stream movies and TV shows via broadband Internet connections. The service marks Netflix’s first foothold outside the United States, the video content provider says.

Netflix, No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says subscribers who pay $7.99 per month can access thousands of films and shows. The content streams to subscribers’ TVs and computers. Consumers can watch streamed content via Nintendo's Wii home console and Sony's PlayStation 3.

Netflix later this fall will enable streaming via Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360. Netflix says Canadian consumers have about 6 million units total of the three consoles. Subscribers with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches from Apple Inc., along with Blu-ray disc players from Samsung and Toshiba, also can stream Netflix content.

As part of the launch, Netflix today said it has signed Canadian license agreements with major motion picture studios and distributors that include Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Corp., Universal Pictures,  Alliance Films, Maple Pictures Corp., eOne and Mongrel.

Netflix offers its service in Canada in English, but the company expects to add French language offerings.

Netflix’s expansion into Canada coincides with the move today by rival Blockbuster Inc., No. 34 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, to file for bankruptcy.

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