Netflix Inc., the online video-subscription service, said it will offer movies and TV shows in Cuba starting at $7.99 a month as Internet access there improves and credit and debit cards become more widely available.
Starting today, Cubans with broadband service and access to international payment methods will be able to stream shows including "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black," Los Gatos, California-based Netflix said today in a statement.
The company will offer a curated selection of movies and TV shows. Netflix didn't say what role, if any, the Cuban government would play in the service. Markets outside the U.S. are the company's fastest-growing source of new online subscribers, which reached 57.4 million at year-end. Netflix raised $1.5-billion in a bond sale this month to support its expansion, including the development of new shows.
"Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture, and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience," Reed Hastings, the company's co-founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement.
Netflix rose 0.3 per cent to $445.59 at 11:30 a.m. in New York. The stock had gained 30 per cent this year as of Feb. 6, second best in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
The company began offering its service in Latin America in 2011 and now counts more than 5 million subscribers. Netflix plans to enter Japan by fall, a person familiar with the matter said last week. The company said on its earnings call in January that it would offer its monthly service to almost every territory with high-speed Internet service by the end of 2016.
This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.