Netflix Could Be Profitable in Canada This Quarter; Mexico Could Take 2 Years

Netflix (NAS: NFLX) has completed its rollout in 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, offering programming in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and the company expects to be profitable in Mexico within two years.

The streaming and DVD service said it was now available in all of the region, except for Cuba, and it anticipates a much slower drive to profitability than it saw in Canada, where it launched a year ago and already has 1 million subscribers.

At a Mexico City news conference, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the Canadian operation could break even, or even be profitable by the end of this month. In contrast, he said, the expansion into the Mexican market could take as long as two years to turn a profit.

Netflix also is expected to roll out service in Europe this year, possibly in Spain and the U.K.

The company is offering a streaming only service in its international markets, and charges $7.79 in Mexico and $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming in the rest of the region, the same price as in the U.S. and Canada.

Earlier this month, Netflix hit the first of two big bumps in the road.

The service instituted a controversial -- for the media, anyway -- pricing change that split its combined DVD-by-mail and streaming service into two offerings for $7.99 a month each, a 60 percent increase for customers who want both services.

No word, yet, on how many customers actually cancelled the service, although Netflix itself said it expects slower subscriber growth this quarter because if it.

Netflix also lost access to a block of content after Starz called off talks on a contract renewal. That deal is set to expire in February, but Netflix has said it will increase its content significantly by the end of the year.

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