Netflix partners with TM in Malaysia, says Disney's plan to split does not affect Asia

Netflix has partnered with Telekom Malaysia (TM) to offer TM customers access to content available on its platform, come October 2017.

TM customers who had subscribed to the service will become Netflix members and will be able to enjoy unlimited viewing of licensed shows and original TV series, films and documentaries such as House of Cards, The Crown and Stranger Things.

“Our latest collaboration with Netflix is testament to our commitment towards becoming Malaysia’s content aggregator champion, where Malaysians will have easier access to Netflix’s content at their convenience,” Jeremy Kung, executive vice president of new media at TM, said.

“Furthermore, with high speed internet access powered by UniFi coupled with unlimited data mobility with TM’s mobility service provider, webe, our customers can fulfill the crave for their favourite movies or shows from Netflix on multiple devices at their own convenience – at home, on the move, anywhere and anytime.  This is in line with TM’s convergence aspiration and our vision of ‘Making Life and Business Easier, for a Better Malaysia’,” he added.

Tony Zameczkowski, vice president of business development at Netflix Asia, added that through this collaboration with TM, the company can now engage more Malaysians who want to watch their favourite shows on Netflix “anytime, anywhere” on a mobile device big screen.

The news comes on the same day that Disney announced (on Tuesday) it is pulling all movies from Netflix to start its own streaming services. CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger told CNBC that Disney had a “good relationship” with Netflix, but decided to move its content off the platform.

On this, Disney said it plans to launch a branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019 starting in the US before expanding globally. Movies to be removed include Disney’s as well as Pixar’s titles. The new platform will feature all Disney movies starting 2019 which includes “Toy Story 4,” “Frozen 2,” and the upcoming “The Lion King.”

The company will also launch its own ESPN video streaming service in early 2018, showcasing about 10,000 sporting events annually. In conjunction with its latest strategic shift move in streaming its own content for consumers, Disney is also buying a majority ownership of BAM Tech for US$1.58 billion. It has already acquired a 33% stake in the company in August 2016.

The original deal, which was signed in 2012 between Netflix US and Disney, kicked in only last year and is not expected to affect Netflix in Asia per se. A spokesperson from Netflix Asia told A+M that the latest announcement does not affect Singapore or the rest of the Asian markets for Netflix.

“We don’t have a deal with Disney in Asia in the first place[…].It is important to note that US Netflix members will still have access to Disney films on the service through the end of 2019, including all new films that are shown theatrically through the end of 2018. We continue to do business with the Walt Disney Company on many fronts, including our ongoing deal with Marvel TV,” Netflix added.