Netflix arrives in the UK and Ireland

Continuing its global expansion, Internet movie and TV subscription Netflix has launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland, offering instant and unlimited access to a broad range of entertainment for a monthly price of £5.99 in the UK and €6.99 in Ireland.

Starting today (January 9), people throughout the UK and Ireland can begin a free, one-month trial of Netflix by simply visiting Netflix.com. Members can select and instantly watch a wide array of Hollywood, local and global TV programmes and films on their TVs via a range of Internet-connected devices capable of streaming from Netflix, including Smart TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players, tablets and mobile phones.

“We are starting 2012 in the best possible way: by giving consumers in the UK and Ireland an amazing entertainment experience,” said Reed Hastings, co-founder and chief executive officer of Netflix. “Now, you can enjoy as many great films and TV programmes as you want, when you want, where you want, for one low monthly price with no contracts or commitments.”

At launch, Netflix is offering films and TV programmes from All3Media, the BBC, CBS, Channel 4’s 4oD, Disney UK & Ireland, ITV, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, Momentum Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Viacom International Media Networks.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast News, Hastings suggested that Netflix’s main competition was not necessarily Amazon’s LOVEFiLM, but Sky Atlantic and Sky Movies. “We have more deals in place than LOVEFiLM,” he said. “Sky’s the big one.” He also recognised the threat of piracy, and suggesting that offering cheap alternatives that were accessible on a range of devices could combat that threat.

In response, LOVEFiLM has reduced the price of its most basic subscription package, with a basic, streaming-only Lovefilm account now costing £5 a month, down a pound from £6.

That package gives subscribers no access to games or movie discs, the same as Netflix’s £5.99 offer.

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