As Netflix Plans German Expansion, Local Broadcaster ARD Hopes to Build Rival

/ Jul 29, 2014

Netflix ARD

Netflix is intent on expanding in Europe, before it likely takes on the rest of the video-loving world. That said, just like in the US, that doesn’t mean local pay-TV providers are going to sit idly by and watch the company control the streaming market in their country.

German public broadcaster ARD is planning on building a new streaming-video portal, according to a report from regional industry publication Funkkorrespondenz (via Broadband TV News), which cites a recent fiscal filing made by the broadcaster. The company is already talking to producers and businesses as it looks to build an “alternative” to Germany’s Gold, which was the name of a planned video portal that ARD was building in with fellow German broadcasting group ZDF. The initiative was struck down last year by regulators due to concerns over market dominance.

But with Netflix ready to arrive on German soil this September, it makes sense that ARD would try and get ahead of it.

The rise of services like Netflix and Hulu in the US is largely credited for pushing domestic broadcasters and pay-TV providers to launch digital video portals — “TV Everywhere” offerings that allow customers to watch content across digital devices, as long as they authenticate their TV subscription.

It’s unclear how ARD’s digital video offering would function in terms of providing access to content (free, paid, or authenticated basis). An executive at an ARD subsidiary told the German publication that he hopes to provide more more information on the portal later this year.

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