Netflix clashes with Canadian regulators over disclosing subscriber data
Ottawa (AFP) – Online video streaming service Netflix has refused to turn over subscriber data to the Canada’s broadcast regulator, a spokesman for the agency told AFP.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission had given the US company until Monday evening to disclose information including how many subscribers it has in Canada, its revenues, expenses, and its viewer numbers, said CRTC spokesman Denis Carmel.
The CRTC has been holding a series of hearings on the future of television regulation in Canada, after its latest report showed Canadians are watching more and more of content over the Internet.
But Netflix said the commercial data was confidential and refused to give it over, despite CRTC assurances it would be kept private, Carmel told AFP on Tuesday.
Carmel said the regulatory agency took note of Netflix’s refusal, but he did not give details on any possible consequences.
In Canada, Netflix use has spread more quickly among English-speakers, rising to 29 percent of English-language viewers this year compared to 21 percent a year earlier.
Among French-language viewers, just seven percent have adopted the online service.
Canadian telecom and television companies Rogers Communications and Shaw Media also teamed up to launch, in October, a direct competitor with Netflix, called Shomi, at nearly the same price.
And Bell Canada has planned an online streaming platform, thanks to a deal giving them rights to popular shows by U.S. cable company HBO.