US online video service Netflix has called for possible moves to have rival pay TV service BSkyB’s movie channels regulated by competition authorities to be scrapped and said he was prepared for a fair fight with the News Corp-backed service.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, speaking at the MediaGuardian Changing Media Summit, said that he doesn’t currently see a need for regulator intervention. He said that while Sky was a “fearsome competitor”, with deals with all six major [Hollywood studio] output deals, there wasn’t currently a need for the regulator to step in. He said that if Netflix failed to make headway with the studios in a year or so, there may be a need to look at the situation again.
Hastings’ intervention came after the Competition Commission, which originally concluded that the News Corp-backed pay service was anti-competitive, widened its investigation to see if the arrival of Netflix has had an impact on the market.
Hastings said that Netflix was ultimately looking to sign up around 2.8 million households to its online streaming service and that its UK launch has been its most successful international launch, following moves across Latin American and Canada. Hastings said that it could take Netflix “a couple of years” to achieve 10% penetration. He also said that Netflix’s ambition was to become a full global service like YouTube.
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