Liberty Global customers in over 30 countries will get access to Netflix content after the two companies signed a multi-year deal.

The Netherlands, where Liberty and Vodafone are merging their opcos in a joint venture, will be the first territory to launch Netflix although no timeline was given.

Liberty said other countries would get the video on-demand service as “technological upgrades” continue throughout 2017.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the announcement built on the “strong relationship” it has struck with Liberty-owned Virgin Media.

The UK-based operator became the first European telco to sign a deal with Netflix back in 2013.

[Read more: Virgin Media’s Mr TV talks talent, targets and telcos]

Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, said: “We are committed to bringing the best content to our customers, and are thrilled to expand our partnership with Netflix.

“This deal will provide even more freedom to our subscribers – allowing them to access a goldmine of amazing TV and films at the click of a button, fully integrated into their usual TV viewing set-up.”

Last month, Liberty signed up production and distribution company All3Media to produce exclusive content for its customers.

CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore said the deal was “big news” for both Liberty and Netflix.

He said: “Overall, it underlines the importance of content and distribution.

“Liberty Global has been steadily strengthening its presence in content in the last couple of years through acquisitions and partnerships.

“In all markets the company has come up against fierce rivals who have been differentiating in content.”

Netflix used the annual IBC trade show in Amsterdam last week to once again talk up its desire to work with telcos to distribute its content.

Pescatore said: “Arguably this is a bigger deal for Netflix who has been struggling to grow its base outside of the US in recent quarters; this despite being available globally.

“Second quarter subscriber growth was poor, not only for its home market but overseas as well.

“Netflix needs subscribers and it needs them fast. It is still growing, but not quickly enough in light of its growing costs.

“A tie-up with Liberty Global gives Netflix more reach and we expect to see more telco and cable relationships over coming months.”

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