News


French cabler counters Netflix with SérieFlix

French cable operator Numericable is to attempt to counter Netflix’s arrival in the country by launching its own rival service.

Numericable deputy CEO Jérôme Yomtov told financial daily Les Echos that a new service is currently being beta-tested and will be launched very soon.

According to Les Echos, SérieFlix – Numericable’s codename for the project – will take the form a pay video-on-demand service with several thousand episodes in its catalogue, although few other details are available.

Numericable’s LaBox Fibre customers are expected to receive a teaser campaign in the next few days.

According to news magazine Le Point, the service will launch before the end of the year. The magazine published a screen capture of the beta version featuring a menu running down the left-hand side of the screen and adverts for Breaking Bad, Grey’s Anatomy and Glee occupying the main part of the screen.

Three subscription VoD services – Jook, Filmo TV and OCS – are already available to Numericable subscribers.

Netflix will launch in the country on September 15, and Numericable’s initiative is the latest in a series of moves by the country’s pay TV operator Canal+ and leading ISPs to develop rival propositions. In addition, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten’s Spain-based OTT service Wuaki.tv is expected to launch in France at the end of this month, as reported last week by ZDnet.fr.

According to ZDnet, Wuaki.tv will follow up a closed beta service to about 10,000 users, mostly customers of Rakuten’s PriceMinister e-commerce site, with a wider launch at the end of this month. According to ZDnet.fr, Wuaki.tv will initially launch a pay VoD service with recent titles including Divergente, De toutes nos forces, Dallas Buyers Club, Minuscule, La Belle et la Bête, Les Trois Frères le retour, Les Garçons and Guillaume à table.