Let Sky die, customers want American Netflix

Netflix's promised crackdown on VPN users has stretched to New Zealand users trying to access the American catalogue. Photo / Bloomberg
Netflix’s promised crackdown on VPN users has stretched to New Zealand users trying to access the American catalogue. Photo / Bloomberg

I don’t understand why Netflix won’t give customers what they want. They are prepared to pay for it. By not giving them what they want in order to protect local providers like Sky they are propping up an outdated business model. Sky is the horse and cart and Netflix is the Lear Jet. I will never forget how upset my Dad and I were when we purchased a Kindle Fire each a number of ¬†years back from Amazon in order to watch videos. I already had an ordinary Kindle for reading and as I was able to buy e-books off Amazon we looked forward to doing the same with movies. Unfortunately our new purchases were useless as we were not allowed to buy content as we didn’t live in America.

Video stores are going out of business all over New Zealand because of Netflix yet Sky gets to limp on. Maybe Sky and Netflix need to provide a joint product that charges like Netflix, provides the sport coverage that New Zealanders love and gives us all access to ALL the films that Netflix has to offer.

Netflix warned in January that people outside the United States trying to watch content on the American catalogue would find it difficult to reach the service through VPN, but it seems to have taken three months for the crackdown to really be felt in New Zealand.

Netflix recently expanded its service to 130 countries, but the news wasn’t great for New Zealanders who have been paying for a subscription to the US site through a virtual private network (VPN).

VPNs allow users an anonymous way to access a site that is restricted to one location.

A source told the Business Herald he had paid to use a VPN service and felt a little nervous that his addiction to US shows and movies could be over when the announcement came from Netflix in January that the company would be working to shut down VPNs accessing the US catalogue.

He continued to use the VPN service without any problems until two weeks ago when it showed that Netflix had caught up with him and he couldn’t access the US catalogue.

He switched to a $6 per month VPN service called Getflix and despite some difficulty immediately connecting to Apple TV for Airplay purposes, he has found the two weeks with the VPN a success.

Paypal is no longer an option to pay for the VPN subscription since it got on board with Netflix’s mission in February.

If Getflix is shut down by Netflix the source would try to find another VPN, and felt confident Netflix wouldn’t be able to shut down all the services available.
– A Newspaper


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  • Whilst I totally agree with your sentiment, Cameron — and have an only-occasionally-working VPN to prove it, post-Netflixiation — the reality is that once Netflix went fully global, it ran out of excuses to give to its studio partners. “Oh, people are only signing up to the US feed because they can’t get the service in their country” doesn’t cut it anymore.

    Still, this is just a transitional period — Netflix will be busy signing up global deals as soon as the current legacy deals are out of the way.

    Then, of course, once we get what we want, we’ll realise that competition wasn’t so bad — “Why am I paying Netflix $40 a month for this lacklustre content? I know they have the rights to [your favourite programme], why aren’t they screening it?”

    Same ol’ stuff, different bat-channel.

  • Aaron

    I still have my American access to Netflix.
    But if Sky want to get nasty to their competition. And since they got the government to treat downloads as if they were physical times and have to pay GST on them. Should they now have to pay Duty on all their shows/sports etc they have stuck a deal with?

  • Rupert

    I suspect Netflix would be more than happy to take the revenue, though I suspect owners of the movies and tv shows are giving them the word to clamp down – as they can’t generate as much revenue from overseas broadcasters.

  • RightyTighty LeftyLoosey

    We dropped Sky over 6 months ago and have not missed it. We now have Lightbox and Netflix. We (currently) much prefer Lightbox and I really hope they will become stronger as we need more than one player in the market to keep the fees low.

    • Keyser Soze

      Me too. But I have been missing the rugby and cricket :( even though I don’t really have time to watch them.

      • Aaron

        you can stream those games

        • Keyser Soze

          Perhaps a conversation we’d have to take off line but I’ve had marginal success streaming. Pretty poor quality and intermittent service. Better than nothing but I still miss HQ and pause, rewind, watching pre recorded games at 2x speed etc…

      • fanpass.co.nz makes up for that, you can purchase it for a day, a week, or a month……Sky just needs to get realistic about their pricing of it as the month long one is $55.

        • Miss Phit

          I have sport for the cricket and a few other events but the cost of having it is stupid for just that. I just cant cut the strings yet. I know I am the model of a Sky viewer in that I want change but cant do it yet. And in the mean time I keep paying.

  • Ghost

    Have been a late comer to Netflix, didn’t watch much TV to begin with but now I think I could even unplug the aerial and not even notice. Don’t mind the delay in some content, I think the cost per month and the streaming more than offsets the disadvantage.

  • Tony Norriss

    Netflix has made the likes of Unotelly, Getflix et. al. pretty much useless.

    However, anyone still wanting to access Netflix in other regions should give Borderless Internet a go: http://borderlessinternet.com/ They use a slightly different method that works well.

    • Unotelly professes to not do this anymore, however they do have a method around it they just don’t give instructions on how to do it with the words Netflix in it. Enjoyed watching my American content last night.

  • The reason why Netflix are doing the VPN blocking is simple. If they don’t the content providers will yank their content away from them.

  • Aucky

    Cancelled our Netflix account last week and will reinstate once they get it together. We have more than we can watch queued up on Sky anyway. The ‘point it, play it and watch it’ principle is all important to me along with live sport and a good selection of news channels.

  • oldmanNZ

    ever wonder why your DVD has zones 1-4, america being 1, NZ is 4.

    same principle applies to netflix. The movie studios should abolish the zoning then we are all happy.
    why cant they release content all the same time?

    • Old Dig

      Yeah the DVD zoning is pretty redundant considering that most DVD players are muti-zone. There shouldn’t be any zoning on the internet, if Netflix isn’t careful they will miss out on the NZ market and someone else will fill the need. Look at how eBay failed against Trademe for example.

  • Refn8tor

    I’m using Unblock-Us and it’s an ongoing war. Netflix manage to detect the blockers about once every 24 hours then it’s just a matter of time before Unblock-Us bypasses the detectors. The good thing with Unblock-Us is you can pick your target country. While mine is mostly the US which is the most heavily policed, Canada and the UK have a ton of different content and don’t appear to be blocked as often.

    The most interesting development is a mob called Smartflix who claim to have ALL Netflix content worldwide available (and the US by no means has all of it). Smartflix used to be free while they were developing it but now they’re charging a small amount. From my use of it, it’s worth it. Even when I get blocked by regular Netflix, Smartflix seems to get through. It has more details on the films and tells you what country it’s pulling it from. Almost too good to be true, so we’ll see how they go once they get more popular. Has Mac and PC clients, no IOS yet (in beta) and haven’t checked for Android.

    As pointed out by others, it’s not Netflix setting the regions – it’s the studios. Netflix does as they’re asked otherwise they risk having their content pulled by the studio. The nudge nudge wink wink deal that was going on for years was OK until the studios demanded that something had to be seen to be done. More and more local broadcasters are cutting deals with the studios to have their content available on the day or week of original release – here in NZ Sky, Lightbox and TVNZ are all broadcasting certain content “hand to mouth”.

  • Woody

    We have not had fast enough internet for long enough to get locked in to any service but Netflix seems like it will be able to float our boat.
    Last night we did attempt to look at a show that someone had told my wife about but couldn’t. When I checked why not this afternoon I discovered that the particular programme is not available in the US (yep, strange but true) but is watchable if I tell my system I am in NZ (which I am) or any of several other countries. Netflix have obviously not shut me out yet as I can still watch US only shows.

  • Wayne Hodge

    Sky is clinging to an outmoded business model. I gave it up some months ago as it was far too expensive for what I was getting. The movie channels are rubbish and many of the other channels are just dross. I would happily pay for BBC Knowledge, UKTV and Vibe on a streaming basis and possibly Box, but no more than say $5 to $7 per month. Everything else Freeview or Netflix.

  • Sceptic59


    Let the existing supply contracts expire, and Netflix will outbid on the next round

    Their revenues make Sky look like a pauper