Vodafone has announced that it is joining forces with streaming TV newcomer Netflix, offering a special deal for its broadband customers.
From March 24, Vodafone New Zealand will give its customers Netflix service free for 6 months when they sign up for 24 months to one of its "Red+" mobile plans. The deal will also be available to existing customers.
"We know how excited Kiwis are about the arrival of Netflix, and are delighted to be partnering with the Netflix team to launch in the home of 'The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug," said Matt Williams, Vodafone Consumer Director.
"We've got New Zealand's largest 4G network so our customers can have the best seat in the house on their mobile.
Vodafone said recent research had shown that 41 per cent of its customers streamed content at least once a month."
The promotional offer will be available to customers until June 30, 2015.
Netflix is kicking off its services here on March 24, in direct competition with Spark's Lightbox, Sky TV's Neon, Quickflix and Ezyflix.
Vodafone, by joining up with Netflix, is now able to better compete with its main rival Spark, which is investing heavily in its Lightbox video streaming business.
Sky Television chief executive John Fellet said today he was comfortable about the Netflix-Vodafone arrangement.
Vodafone and Sky are longtime business partners - Sky Pay TV services is packaged as part of Voafone's broadband offers.
Fellet says there was "nothing surprising" in today's news.
Fellet and Vodafone New Zealand chief executive Russell Stanners have a strong rapport and the Netflix deal appears to loosen a tight relationship between the two companies.
Netflix is staying mum on pricing plans, saying they won't be revealed until launch day.
In a press release, it said it would offer a single-stream standard definition plan, two-stream high-definition plan and four-stream 4K ultra-high definition "family" plan across a range of devices, including smart TVs, Apple devices and gaming platforms.
In America, those plans cost between US$9-$12.
Netflix will be bringing a large library of original content, including Bloodline, Daredevil, Marco Polo, Sense8 and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
But original series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black won't be available in New Zealand, with the on-demand rights already sold to Lightbox.
Confirmed movie content includes The Matrix, Ocean's and Lord of the Rings trilogies, Happy Feet, Wedding Crashers, Cars, Monsters Inc, Up and Zoolander.
TV content includes Lost, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Broadchurch, The Tunnel and Chris Lilley comedy shoes Ja'mie: Private School Girl, Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes.