Netflix Signs With Local Partner for Russian Version

Netflix will launch a local language version of its service in Russia in partnership with local broadcaster National Media Group in October, according to reports.
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Streaming giant Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Report has partnered with Russian broadcaster National Media Group to operate a Russian language version of Netflix in the region, according to a report from Reuters.

Netflix said it will stream both subtitled and dubbed Netflix series as well as expand programming to some Russian content, and users will be able to pay for the service in rubles. The company has similar local-language services in countries such as India and Malaysia.

The deal keeps Netflix in compliance with laws restricting foreign ownership of media operating in Russia, as well as a specific law limiting foreign ownership of streaming services, excluding Alphabet's  (GOOGL) - Get Report YouTube. Bloomberg reported that the service will be rolled out in October.

While Netflix doesn't share subscriber numbers by country, third-party estimates suggest the company has 140,000 subscribers in Russia.

“National Media Group confirms its partnership with Netflix in Russia. The holding becomes the operator of Netflix service in Russia,” Olga Plaskina, NMG chief executive, said in a statement to Reuters. “NMG and Netflix are working on full localization of the service,” she added.

National Media Group also operates Russian language channels of broadcasters Discovery and Sony. In Russia, Netflix competes with local streaming services such as Okko Ivi, Megogo and TVzavr.

In 2016, Netflix added its streaming service in new countries such as India, Russia, South Korea and Turkey, bringing its total tally to 190 countries.

Netflix shares were down 2.0% to $545.50 on Wednesday morning.

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