Netflix in Hong Kong

‘It’s a bummer’: Netflix won’t stream 4th season of House of Cards in Hong Kong - but local rivals like LeEco, NowTV will

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 January, 2016, 8:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2016, 9:19am

The fourth season of hit US television show House of Cards will not be available on Netflix in Hong Kong when the it gets released globally on March 4, according to a spokesperson from the company.

But viewers in Hong Kong can subscribe to Chinese video service provider LeEco or Hong Kong’s pay-TV NowTV to watch the highly acclaimed political drama.

READ MORE: Ten popular TV shows and movies you won’t find on Hong Kong’s new Netflix

“It is a bummer that we don’t have it in Hong Kong,” said Jonathan Friedland, chief communications officer of Netflix.

“We don’t own the show.”

The internet streaming pioneer rolled out its over-the-top (OTT) service in Hong Kong earlier this month as one of 130 new markets excluding mainland China.

It offered tempting deals for as low as HK$63 a month, or the first month free, as it bids to make fast inroads into the city’s pay TV market, but also frustrated consumers by not including some of their favourite shows such as The Walking Dead, Sherlock and, of course, House of Cards.

American movie and film studio Media Rights Capital owns the show and sells it to different broadcasters around the world.

Netflix only purchased the rights to stream the series in the United States and United Kingdom but is now trying to bring it to more countries, said Friedland.

He did not disclose when the show could be added to the company’s Hong Kong library.

Meanwhile, pay-TV channel RTL CBS Entertainment Network, a joint-venture between European Network RTL Group and US television company CBS Studios international, snapped up the exclusive rights to show House of Cards in Southeast Asia in 2014.

This was included in NowTV and LeEco’s channel collection.

Meanwhile, RTL’s high-definition channel will start broadcasting the new season of House of Cards from March 5 and will show one new episode every week.

LeEco said its subscribers can watch them within two weeks of each episode initially airing.

The channel was also included in NowTV’s Entertainment Pack, which also contains 11 other channels. A package deal costs HK$68 a month.

LeEco charges HK$99 a month for subscription to a wider library of Western and Asian shows.

Netflix announced 11 new shows and four returning series last week, including the fourth season of crime comedy Orange is the New Black and the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

According to a Netflix spokesperson, all of these new shows will be available in Hong Kong on Netflix except for the House of Cards.

Neflix expanded to Hong Kong and 130 more countries and territories on January. It is in everywhere in the world except for Syria and China. Friedland said the company is still in talks with Chinese partners and governments but there is no development to announce at the moment. “It is a fluid situation,” he said. “It changes all the time.”