Netflix to enter highly competitive Canadian video market

Having already made a big dent in the U.S. online video market, Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) believes it can make a similar impression in Canada.

Conquering the Canadian online video market won't be easy for Netflix, which will initially focus on just selling online video streaming. Not only will Netflix have to compete for consumer eyeballs with Internet content giants such as Apple TV and Boxee, which are also putting their own plans to enter the Canadian market, but also the region's dominant telcos and cable operators BCE and Shaw Communications.

BCE, for one, sees video as a major growth driver. With a vision of delivering video to the living room TV set and the mobile handset, the Canadian incumbent telco decided to snap up the remaining stake it did not own in Canada's largest private broadcaster CTV for $2.9 billion. Bell Canada currently offers online video through its Sympatico portal in addition to running traditional satellite TV and IPTV services.

Cable operators are being just as aggressive with their video plans. Similar to BCE, Shaw Communications is in the process of acquiring Canwest Global Communications for $2 billion.

Netflix may be the hipper online video company, but Canada's dominant service providers are at least taking a proactive stance to deal with this oncoming competitive threat.

For more:
- Reuters has this article

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