Netflix Canada Subcribers Stream 'Downton Abbey' Before U.S. Market

The U.S. video streaming giant's Canadian library deal with NBCUniversal Television includes "Bridesmaids," "Suits," "Bates" and "Friday Night Lights."

TORONTO -- Netflix Canada has struck a deal to stream Downton Abbey north of the border before U.S. subscribers get to view the hit U.K. period drama.

The distribution deal with NBCUniversal Television will also see Canadian subscribers of the U.S. video streaming giant get a first crack at Suits, the USA Network legal drama that shoots in Toronto.

Under the new deal, the first two seasons of Downton Abbey and early seasons of Suits began streaming exclusively Dec. 1.

Other NBCUniversal TV titles to become available to Netflix Canada subscribers in 2014 include Bates Motel, Psych, Covert Affairs, Heroes and Friday Night Lights.

Films in the deal include Bridesmaids; Fast Five, from the Fast & Furious movie franchise; The Change Up with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman; and the first three films in the Bourne franchise.

The NBCUniversal deal helps bridge the content gap between what Netflix Canada subscribers view and the fuller library of movies and TV shows for U.S.-based Netflix subscribers.

"We are pleased to be the exclusive online subscription home for Downton Abbey, Suits, Bates Motel, as well as for terrific feature films in Canada," said Sean Carey, vp content acquisition at Netflix, in a statement.