If you still have a Blockbuster in your neighbourhood, stop in soon to say goodbye. Netflix launched in Canada today and at $7.99 for a month of unlimited movies and TV shows, it is poised to be an impact player in the content-on-demand landscape.
On the TV front, Netflix has the first three seasons of Mad Men on their Canadian menu–a perk not even offered on the service in the States. The current season of the AMC series, however, is not part of the Netflix deal.
The Northern California-based company has also made a deal to offer five seasons of Trailer Park Boys. Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings (above) admits he’s never seen it, but he heard it is a draw here so he cut a cheque to bring it into the Netflix tent.
The TV content is pretty hit and miss. Netfix, for example, offers the new Will Arnett comedy Running Wilde. You can download it at Netflix the same day it airs in Canada and the U.S.
Most of their catalogue, however, is older episodes and second run features. Hastings insists he’s not in direct competition with the remaining DVD stores because 80% of their business is new releases. Netflix is more focused now on delivering content to your laptop, iPad, iPhone, Sony PlayStation and even the new Apple TV when it is introduced here.
Hastings says he’s not after any exclusive deals. He’ll simply offer a different window on content. Still, can’t imagine CTV, Global or City are going to share any rights to all the stuff they pay to import.
Still, money talks, says Hastings. He’s got some cash to throw at people with so-called broken business models. He has fewer headaches, too–his business is not subject to any of those annoying Canadian government content requirements. There’s no CRTC hoop to hop through.
You’ll find movies like Superbad, Slumdog Millionaire and Fantastic Mr. Fox on Netflix’s menus. Past seasons of Rescue Me, Monk and other U.S. cable fare are also available, as are kiddie shows like Dora the Explorer. There’s even old episodes of Fawlty Towers.
Netflix is offering a free month long window on their service to Canadians. When that $7.99 cost kicks in, it will still be a buck a month cheaper than what it costs in the States, where it has 15 million subscribers. Find out more here.
The American on-demand provider certainly has Rogers’ attention. This week, they’ve beefed up their Rogers-on-demand content.

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