Netflix nabs a million UK subscribers, promises to 'invest heavily' to outbid Sky for movie rights

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has threatened a bidding war with UK Broadcaster BSkyB for premium movie rights, and he could have the war chest to back it up -- the company also hit the million subscriber mark in the UK only seven months after launching there. Netflix UK boasted that it even got there faster than Twitter or Facebook did globally, and chalked up the success to most British households having at least one household streaming device. Meanwhile, Hastings said the US company intends to pry premium Hollywood movie rights away from BSkyB, promising to be "really aggressive in our bidding." The streaming service will have to overcome more than money, however -- the UK's Competition Commission granted BSkyB a rights extension to protect it from the very likes of Netflix.

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UK And Ireland Embrace Netflix
Fastest Territories To Reach One Million Netflix Members

LONDON, Aug. 20, 2012 -- Netflix, Inc., the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying TV series and films, has hit the one million member milestone in the UK and Ireland within seven months, faster than in any other territory it has launched.

To put that in perspective, that's four times faster than it took Twitter to hit one million users globally and nearly twice as fast as it took Facebook and Foursquare globally.

"This membership milestone is evidence that Netflix has rapidly gained popularity in the UK and Ireland," said Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings. "Our British and Irish members clearly enjoy the ability to instantly watch a large variety of TV shows and films streaming from Netflix on their favourite devices whenever they want."

Consumers are spending more time enjoying entertainment online, according to a survey by YouGov for Netflix. Ten percent of the UK population now dedicates two hours or more of their day to watching their favourite TV show delivered through the Internet.

On Netflix, comedy and drama are the top genre choices among UK and Irish members, whose favourite time of the week to enjoy their streaming entertainment is on a Sunday night.

TV presenter and gadget expert, Pollyanna Woodward comments, "Consumers are beginning to spend more time enjoying entertainment online, streaming TV and film, and this trend is only growing. With services like Netflix, consumers can watch their favourite TV shows and films when and how they want."

Netflix is available on over 800 devices. Brits spend £565.21 a year on new electronic gear, according to YouGov, meaning that it is likely that any given household has at least one device that can stream TV shows and films from Netflix.

Netflix members can look forward to a number of great new TV shows and movies coming soon including sentimental buddy comedy "50/50", and blockbusters "2012" and "Iron Man 2." Members can also look forward to "Covert Affairs" and the next season of "Breaking Bad" on Netflix.

YouGov Survey – results can be requested from Netflix

About Netflix:

With more than 27 million streaming members in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is the world's leading internet subscription service for enjoying films and TV programmes. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can instantly watch films and TV programmes streamed over the internet to PCs, Macs and TVs. Among the large and expanding base of devices streaming from Netflix are the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 consoles; an array of Blu-ray disc players, internet-connected TVs, home theatre systems, digital video recorders and internet video players; Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Apple TV and Google TV. In all, over 800 devices that stream from Netflix are available. For additional information, visit Follow Netflix on Facebook and Twitter.