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Netflix renews carriage deal on Spain’s Movistar Plus

In what looks like a win-win deal for both partners, Netflix has renewed for a further five years its carriage deal in Spain with Movistar Plus, the pay-SVOD operator of giant European telecom Telefónica.

Originally announced in May 2018 with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings hidden behind a Salvador Dali mask and “Casa de Papel” outfit, the original three-year deal lifted off in December of that year.

The renewal was unveiled on Twitter Thursday, Netflix announcing that “La Resistencia Nos Une” – “Resistance Unites Us” – to a picture of a figure in a Salvador Dali mask – a reference to not only the political mantra of the Professor and gang in “Money Heist” but the title of Movistar Plus’ popular chat show “La Resistencia.” Shots follow from Netflix’s powerful offering of international shows – “Bridgerton,” “Stranger Things” – and Spanish series such as “Elite,” “A través de mi ventana” and the awaited “Feria, The Darkest Light.”

In the last few years, Movistar Plus has moved energetically to position itself as not only a local hero, producing some of the best Spanish series of the year, but also as Spain’s home entertainment gatekeeper, integrating the most powerful of global OTT players with easy to access user interface visibility.

The impact of Netflix on subscriber take-up has been immediate, Movistar Plus confirming in Feb. 2019 that more than one third of new subscribers to Movistar, Telefonica’s telephony, internet and TV service, had taken the new Netflix option.

Movistar Plus’ subscriber base, holding steady at around 4 million clients, is by a head the biggest pay TV offering in Spain, with a loyal deeper-pocketed clientele who are avid TV consumers.

In Spain Netflix currently derives 13% of its subscribers from partnerships with pay-TV and telco providers such as Telefonica’s Movistar Plus, according to OMDIA own estimates, said María Rua Aguete, OMDIA senior research director, consumer research group, Media and Entertainment.

“This figure is growing over time, as streaming services and traditional aggregators become increasingly integrated. For both these players, this partnership is more important and stable than ever,” she added.

According to OMDIA, at the end of 2021 Netflix had 6.2m subs in Spain, making it the most popular video service in the country.

“For five more years of great stories together,” the Twitter announcement ends.

That can be read various ways but raises the suspicion that the two partners could not only be thinking up muscular ways of promoting news series – “Money Heist, Part 5 Vol. 2 received its own dedicated channel on Movistar Plus – but even creating joint productions. Only a few years back that would have been unthinkable. Variety

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