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Netflix to provide service to the U.K., Ireland

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 1:47pm
The Associated Press

Netflix plans to offer its online subscription service to the United Kingdom and Ireland starting early next year, providing access to movies and television shows.

The company said Monday that subscribers will get unlimited TV shows and movies streaming online to their televisions and computers, Macs, tablets, and cellular phones for a monthly fee.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company, which will report its third-quarter financial results after the stock market closes on Monday, said details about pricing, content and supported devices will be disclosed closer to launch.

Netflix started streaming to the U.S. in 2007 and added Canada in 2010 and 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in September. The company has more than 25 million members in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

Those in the U.K. or Ireland interested in the service can sign up at Netflix's website to receive an email alert that will let them know when the service has launched, the company said.

Netflix has faced criticism lately due to a recent price increase and a failed attempt to split up its video subscription service. Netflix boosted prices for combination packages of DVDs-by-mail and Internet video streaming by as much as 60 percent, effective Sept. 1.

After the higher prices kicked in, CEO Reed Hastings announced a plan to spin-off the DVD rental side into a separate website called Qwikster. The move was so reviled by subscribers that Hastings changed his mind within three weeks.

Netflix's stock has dropped by 60 percent since the price increases were announced in mid-July. The sell-off has wiped out $9 billion in shareholder wealth.

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