ORF to build up Austrian Netflix competitor

Flimmit ScreenshotAustria’s public TV and radio broadcaster ORF wants to build up a domestic competitor to Netflix and plans to take over Austrian video-on-demand (VOD) provider Flimmit for this purpose.

The negotiations have already been finalised, reports Austrian newspaper Kurier with reference to well-informed sources, adding that ORF’s board will discuss the deal at its next assembly on July 3, 2014.

FlimmitFlimmit currently offers more than 2,000 movies, series and documentaries, in majority Austrian productions. With the move, ORF wants to get ahead of Netflix when it launches in Austria by the end of this year. Both Flimmit and ORF declined to comment the information.

In contrast to Netflix, Flimmit doesn’t offer a flat fee. Users can instead rent the videos for 48 hours (streaming) or purchase them (download-to-own). Following its takeover, ORF could, however, introduce a flat rate model to compete head-on with Netflix.

According to Austrian newspaper Der Standard, ORF wants to initially purchase a minority stake in Flimmit through its marketing subsidiary ORF Enterprise and its technical services provider ORS, but aims to eventually become the majority shareholder.