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Online streaming Netflix hits French screens

Netflix, the American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media
Netflix, the American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

US online streaming Netflix launched its move into the French market on Monday and put local operators under pressure. 

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Netflix subscribers will enjoy access to Hollywood films, cartoons and television series.

In its French offensive, Netflix hopes to seduce French viewers with a "House of cards", a hugely successful political drama - set in Marseille - starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. 

But the American online streaming company faces particular obstacles in France where the film and television industry is strictly regulated.

French TV channels are required to invest in domestic content, and they fear that Netflix might take away some of the 520,000 subscribers to Canal+, who provide the main source of finance for French made films. 

Although Netflix subscribers will be able to watch as much as they like - for a 8 to 12 euro monthly internet rental - at any time, on a laptop, tablet or smartphone, they will need an internet connection.

Until now French Internet operators have stood together against the American giant, but this morning, Bouygues Telecom announced that Netflix services will be available on the Bouygues boxes next month.

Netflix has 50 million subscribers worldwide.

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