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Another French telco to offer Netflix

Netflix_sign_240SFR has become the latest French ISP to offer Netflix via its TV set-top boxes.

The telco is making the subscription VoD service available via its Google Play-enabled boxes via a software update. Users will be able to sign up for the service direct via their decoders, taking advantage of Netflix’s ‘first month free’ promotional offer.

SFR already offers the Canal+-owned Canalplay SVoD service as will as its own VoD catalogue.

SFR follows Bouygues Telecom and Orange in making Netflix available via its TV boxes. The news leaves Free and Numericable – soon to own SFR – as the main distributors yet to offer the service.

SFR’s decision to follow Bouygues Telecom and Orange has surprised some observers, given that future owner Numericable is a major pay TV player in France, while current owner Vivendi, which will retain a 20% stake in the combined entity post completion, is the owner of Netflix’s main competitor Canal+.

However, the success of Netflix in attracting a reported 100,000 users some two weeks after its launch appears to have convinced the telco that it is in its commercial interest to follow its peers.

Separately, Orange’s own plans for a homegrown SVoD service are reported to be progressing, with speculation mounting that the operator will team up with TF1 to launch a service.

TF1 president Nonce Paolini was present at Orange’s Hello innovation event, at which Orange CEO Stéphane Richard revealed the plan, along with Orange’s decision to make Netflix available via its own TV boxes.