Quebec Cable Giant Launches Netflix-Style SVOD Service

Netflix - Sign - 2011
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The French language illico Club Unlimited offering will face down competition from the U.S. video streaming giant, which now reaches into one in ten Canadian homes.

TORONTO – After taking it on the chin from Netflix Canada, a Canadian cable giant is fighting back.

At least in the French language. Montreal-based Quebecor’s Videotron cable service is expanding its illico TV offering to include illico Club Unlimited, a subscription VOD service for Quebec and Ontario.

The TV service will provide unlimited French language movies and TV shows like Spider-Man 3, The Social Network and Salt for $9.99 a month.

The content will come from a host of local and foreign suppliers, including Sony, MGM, CBS, Films Seville and TVA Films.

Illico TV was initially launched by Quebecor to face down competition in Quebec from arch-rival BCE, which owns and operates the CTV network and a string of cable channels.

But Netflix Canada has steadily added French language content to its local offering, including through a multi-year licensing agreement with Radio-Canada.

And now that the U.S. video streaming giant’s Canadian division reaches into one in every 10 Canadian homes, Quebecor is taking notice.

“illico Club Unlimited has the largest selection of unlimited, on-demand French-language titles in Canada,” said Robert Depatie, president and CEO of Videotron, in a statement.

Subscribers will be able to access illico Club Unlimited from their TV set or, like Netflix Canada, from their computer or Android tablet.