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CHOICE Urges Netflix To Enter Australian Market To Provide Much Needed Arrested Development Fix

Photo of PS3 XMB with Netflix App
Sean Fang Fri, 31/05/2013 - 22:22

CHOICE Australia has revealed that the consumer interest group wrote a letter to Netflix nearly two months ago asking the popular streaming provider when they plan to make an entrance into the Australian market, but has yet to receive a reply.

The letter, since posted on CHOICE's Facebook page, was written ahead of the launch of the new season of Arrested Development, in what appears now to be the vain hope of ensuring Australians have a legal and completely official way to watch the heavily anticipated new episodes. Without Netflix providing an official way for Australians to sign up to Netflix, or at the very least, to access the Netflix exclusive season 4 of AD, Australians have resorted to using geo-unblocking services or even piracy to gain access.

But despite given a 7 week head start to reply before the new season of AD was launched on May 26, Netflix have yet to issue a response to CHOICE's letter. Even when Janko Roettger at paidContent.org took up the issue, and used his connections to get in contact with Netflix, a company spokesperson could not provide any more information other than that Netflix was "busily expanding" into new territories, but mostly focusing on the European market for the immediate future.

CHOICE has been left so disappointed that it is now actively urging Australian AD fans to use geo-unblocking services to sign up and use Netflix, until Netflix bothers to provide an official solution to the problem.

CHOICE fell short of urging Australians to pirate episodes of the show, which remains highly illegal. But despite the legal issues, it has been revealed that two days after the release of the new episodes, more than 26,000 people in Australia have attempted to download the new episodes via BitTorrent. Despite Australia's small population (only 0.33% of the world's population), we rank as the second most popular country for AD downloads (15% of all global downloads came from here), with Melbourne actually being most piracy-heavy city in the world. In fact, 4 cities in Australia made the AD piracy top 10, with Auckland also included for good measure (unsurprisingly, Netflix is also unavailable in New Zealand).

For those unwilling to go down the illegal route of piracy, you can read our guide on how to watch Arrested Development in Australia (and New Zealand, or any other country where Netflix isn't available), all without needing to spend any money, here.