Netflix Canada Joins Big 3 Broadcasters in Content Shopping in L.A.

Netflix Canada launched last Fall, to mixed fanfare. You either love it or hate it. Sure, the library is improving but there’s no denying Netflix has big plans for its growing Canadian subscribers, on pace to exceed 1 million.

They’ve signed deals with Paramount for content, have future plans to stream David Fincher’s TV series House of Cards, offered options to use less bandwidth to deal with caps set by our ISPs, and even hired lobbyists to do battle in Ottawa. The service remains one of the dominant uses of bandwidth in Canada and North America.

Signs Netflix is Serious: They Join the Big Boys to Go Content Shopping in LA

Every year the big three Canadian broadcasters (Rogers, Bell, and Shaw) head down South to Hollywood to find content to purchase for the upcoming Fall TV season. Other smaller broadcasters such as Channel Zero and Zoomer Media also make the trip to LA to preview shows as a group. What made this year particularly interesting? Netflix senior manager of content acquisition, Emily Briggs joined this smaller group, according to the GlobeandMail.

Netflix did not confirm their represent was there, but it’s clear they are taking things seriously and big cable companies also want a piece of the online pie:

But online is still a big factor, and broadcasters are negotiating harder for digital rights along with TV, according to another executive who spoke about negotiations on the condition of anonymity. Broadcasters made it clear they would push back against studios hoping to make extra money by selling online-only rights to more than one buyer.

“If they didn’t give multiplatform rights, you’d pay significantly less for linear [TV] rights … We definitely told the studios, that’s the only way we’re going to buy,” the executive said.

The way we consume our media has changed. Gone are the days of staying glued on the couch to catch your favourite show. Today, it’s all about watching what your want, went you want via PVRs and online services like Netflix. The cable carriers have noticed, and will go to any length to discourage the loosening of their iron grip over Canadian households. Sure, Netflix Canada might not impress everyone, but at least it’s out there as an option. And to see them shopping for media alongside Canada’s big wigs, that brings a smile to my face.

Did you sign up for Netflix Canada? How do you like it so far?