Netflix has warned users they’ll soon be restricted to viewing only the content it’s purchased for their country, a move which could dent the service’s appeal for some subscribers.
TV and film rights are normally sold on a territorial basis and many shows and movies available on Netflix’s main US service are unavailable to users in other countries where rights may be held by a local broadcaster.
To get around this some subscribers use to use proxies or “unblockers” to fool Netflix’s systems into believing they’re in a country where their chosen content is available.
However the service says it will update its enforcement of content licensing “in coming weeks” to restrict even proxy users to viewing the content its bought for their home market.
The firm’s David Fullagar says: “We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere.
“Over time, we anticipate being able to do so. For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory.
“In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.”
A failure to take action could have made it more difficult for Netflix to secure key content in future as any unauthorised access lessens the value to broadcasters, denting the income of rights holders.