Video services

Netflix Goes South

Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s global expansion kicks off today's look around the cable realm.

  • Netflix launched Monday in Brazil for BR$14.99 (US$9.04) per month, its first service debut south of the border. It expects to have streaming services lit up in 43 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean by Sept. 12. Netflix, which won't be renewing its current deal with Starz Entertainment LLC , has more than 25 million subs in the U.S. and Canada. (See Netflix, Starz on the Outs .)

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) has dropped out of the bidding for Hulu LLC , leaving Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) among those that could end up paying between $1.5 million and $2 billion for the Web video hub, says the Financial Times.

  • Speaking of Dish, Bloomberg reports that the satellite TV giant is gearing up to take on Netflix next month with a subscription video streaming service under the Blockbuster Inc. brand. (See Dish Puts Blockbuster to Work.)

  • Charter Communications Inc. is kicking the tires on Nitro, SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC)'s cloud-based user interface for tablets, PCs, set-tops and other IP-connected devices, reports Multichannel News. (See SeaChange Navigates TV Everywhere.)

  • Regulators in Poland approved Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY)'s acquisition of Aster Sp. on the condition that Liberty, which already owns UPC Polska, sells systems that overlap in Warsaw and Krakow. Liberty will have to reduce its combined market share in those cities to no more than 40 percent; its current share is between 50 percent and 60 percent.

  • The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem LLC (DECE) has tapped Solekai Systems Corp. to help design a compliance verification program and test tools for UltraViolet, DECE's consumer brand for a soon-to-be-launched electronic sell-through platform and "rights locker" that includes Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) among its backers. (See UltraViolet Opens Its Digital Locker.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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