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Airtel announces carrier billing deal with Netflix

Airtel’s carrier branding deal with Netflix will see Airtel give away three months of Netflix free to some mobile and broadband subscribers. From the fourth month, it will charge a monthly telecom bill, with Netflix appearing as an additional charge on the bill. This is Netflix’s second such arrangement in India, after a deal with Vodafone last year. Netflix already has such deals with Vodafone around the world.

The three months free Netflix deal is only on select plans, but Airtel said that it would disclose which plans would get the deal later, without mentioning a timeline. When Vodafone announced its carrier billing deal, it technically offered Netflix as a part of its data bundle and not as a separate service. At that time, users would get a better deal by simply getting on a Jio plan instead and purchasing Netflix separately. It’s unclear if this deal with Airtel will be a better proposition than that — the telco will also be promoting Netflix series on its Airtel TV and My Airtel apps.

Netflix in India

Netflix has just released two big-ticket TV series and a couple original films that it acquired from Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP. It has over fourteen original series on its upcoming slate from India, including a prequel to the Baahubali series. The company also inked a deal with DICE Media for a slew of low-cost webseries.

Last month, the company refused to censor a dialogue where former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is called a ‘wimp’ in Sacred Games. That was in response to a PIL filed in the Delhi High Court by a Congress-affiliated lawyer who wanted the dialogue — and other scenes allegedly defamatory to the party — removed.

Our Netflix coverage here.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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