Netflix executives have promised New Zealand will become "part of the Netflix family" but for now, it seems we may be the poor cousins.
Netflix will launch in New Zealand on March 24 with no sign of its biggest show, House of Cards.
Last week, vice-president of product innovation Todd Yellin told us: "From here on in, New Zealand is part of the Netflix family. Everything we produce will be released in New Zealand as the same time as the rest of the world."
But as the official launch date was announced this week, we were told categorically that the third season of House of Cards will not be available in New Zealand.
A Netflix spokesman told us: "In markets where Netflix has not yet launched, House of Cards was licensed out to other content providers in New Zealand."
So that must mean someone else is set to broadcast it, right?
Apparently not. TV3, which screened the first two series of the award-winning show says it does not have the rights to season 3.
Likewise, Lightbox says it has not licensed it either. Nor has Sky Television or TVNZ.
Indeed, it appears Netflix is launching here without Netflix's biggest show. And to see the new series - which launched in the Northern Hemisphere last week - any time soon, fans will have to sign up via backdoor arrangements with Netflix in the US or find more dubious ways to catch the new episodes.
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
With 50 million subscribers across nearly 50 countries, Netflix has been a long time coming Downunder, but it brings with it a competitive package. Exactly what that will be and how much it will cost is still under wraps until launch date.
But here's what we know so far:
• Packages are likely to cost between $10-$15 monthly (in the US, they're priced between $8-$12)
• Netflix will offer one-month free trials for everyone.
• It will be available on a range of devices, including smart TVs, Apple devices, and gaming platforms; confirmed TV content includes all available seasons of Lost, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Broadchurch, The Tunnel and Chris Lilley comedy shows Ja'mie: Private School Girl, Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes.
• Movie content includes The Matrix, Ocean's and Lord of the Rings trilogies, Happy Feet, Wedding Crashers, Cars, Monsters Inc, Up and Zoolander.
• On the downside, Netflix original series House of Cards and Orange is the New Black won't be available on the service here at launch.
• Also unavailable will be will newer Disney content like Frozen, Planes, Marvel's Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Muppets Most Wanted, as Sky TV reportedly has those rights.
But NZ subscribers will have access to all Netflix's upcoming original content, and with their aim to release a new series of a TV show in full every two weeks by the end of 2015, there's likely to be a lot of it.
New shows already being promoted include family drama Bloodline, historic adventure Marco Polo, Marvel's new superhero show Daredevil, sci-fi series Sense8 from the creators of The Matrix, and Tina Fey-helmed comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. We'll also be getting Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel The Green Legend in August, the network's first original feature film which was filmed in New Zealand.
THREE SHOWS WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Starring incredible Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline is a Ray Donovan-esque hardboiled family drama with an emphasis on the word "drama". Mendelsohn plays Danny Rayburn, the older brother and black sheep of a family struggling to deal with his return to the fold. Also starring Kyle Chandler, Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek, we've seen two episodes, and we can tell you that things get very, very messy. We're addicted, and we want to see more.
This Marvel superhero might have been turned into a bad Ben Affleck movie back in 2003 but the new version is promising a gritty grown-up take on the blind vigilante. It's the first of four live-action adventure series (followed by A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage) all leading up to a teaming of the main characters in Marvel's The Defenders) which will all premiere on Netflix. Daredevil will be played by Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) and his nemesis Kingpin, by Vincent D'Onofrio (Law and Order) who packed on the pounds - and shaved off his hair - to play the villain.
3. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tina Fey is the comedy brains behind this female-centric new show, starring Bridesmaids' actress Ellie Kemper. Kemper plays Kimmy Schmidt, who tries to start a new life in the Big Apple after being rescued from a Doomsday cult, which saw her spend 15 years living in an underground bunker. Wide-eyed and clueless, she is a delight in this deliberately absurd set up, which Netflix has already commissioned for two seasons.