High noon approaches at the O-Z Corral

It seems a bit late to try to catch Netflix in Australia/New Zealand — considering the U.S. streaming service has yet to launch and already has more subscribers than the three local services but — well, Blockbuster did the same thing and actually almost caught Netflix in 2007, so you never know. This article from The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper shows the lay of the competitive landscape Down Under, as Netflix prepares to launch its streaming-only service on March 24.

Stan and Presto, both joint ventures of Australian media companies, debuted streaming movie-TV show offerings last month (Presto previously had separate services for TV show and movies) and are still working out the kinks with technology, platform availability and content mixes.

Quickflix, the legacy streaming/DVD-by-mail service, reached 136,000 subscribers at the end of last year — well under the estimated 200,000 Australians who have illegally subscribed to Netflix using VPNs to circumvent geo-blocking.

Still, it should be an interesting contest on the content side: Stan managed to get exclusive rights to Breaking Bad and its highly anticipated spin-off, Better Call Saul, and Presto has a deal with HBO to streamcast some of the U.S. premium cable company’s best stuff, including Entourage, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire but not Game of Thrones.


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