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Telefonica, through Movistar TV, is emulating the Netflix model by launching a flat fee access to a wide range of films and TV series on demand, excluding premieres. The price is yet to be confirmed, although it is likely to be similar to Netflix´s €6.60 charged in other countries.
With the move, Telefonica aims to compete with OTT services like Wuaki.tv, that has one million users, and get a firm position in the market before a possible arrival of Netflix, with 46 million active users (34 million in the US and the remaining 12 million across 40 countries where it operates).
Over the last few months, Telefonica has made a full-frontal assault on the pay-TV market with very aggressive offers through its convergent service Fusion including mobile and fixed broadband Internet, mobile and fixed telephony and television with 80 TV channels.
The company recently completed the acquisition of a 56 per cent stake in DTH platform Canal Plus to control up to 78 per cent in the operator with plans to reach 100 per cent in case of a deal with Mediaset to acquire it its 22 per cent in the platform. With the purchase of Canal Plus, subject to the approval of the competition authorities, Telefonica now have over 2.3 million pay-TV subscribers, 730,000 to its Movistar TV service and 1.6 million from Canal Plus.
Meanwhile, Telefonica’s main rival Vodafone-ONO is set to launch its first convergent services combined with ONO in September to over 10 million potential homes, once they have the green light to their €7.2 billion operation from the competition authorities by the beginning of July.