Internet TV provider Netflix has launched its service in more than 130 countries worldwide, including all those in the GCC and most of the Middle East.
The TV service is available in all countries across the Middle East except Syria, where it is prohibited by US law.
The company’s co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings made the announcement and launched the service live at this year’s CES 2016 in Las Vegas (pictured below).
“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network,” Hastings said. “With this launch, consumers around the world - from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo - will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously - no more waiting. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”
Netflix had announced plans last month to launch its service in the UAE by the end of 2016, and had embarked on a major recruitment drive in the region.
While largely available in English in most new countries, Netflix also added Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese to the 17 languages it already supports.
“From today onwards, we will listen and we will learn, gradually adding more languages, more content and more ways for people to engage with Netflix,” said Hastings. “We’re looking forward to bringing great stories from all over the world to people all over the world.”
The service, available for a monthly fee of $7.99 across the region (first month free), members will be able to view Netflix original series including Making a Murderer, Marvel’s Daredevil and Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Narcos, Sense8, Grace and Frankie, and Marco Polo, as well as a catalogue of licensed TV shows and movies.
In 2016, the company plans to release 31 new and returning original series, two dozen original feature films and documentaries, a wide range of stand-up comedy specials and 30 original kids’ series - available at the same time to members everywhere.