Argentina’s government is starting its own Netflix knockoff

Kent Hernandez/Fusion

Argentina’s president loves Netflix so much she decided to create her own version.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is putting into motion plans to create a new Netflix-style video-streaming platform that will feature only a catalog of Argentine movies and TV shows. The online service will be entirely financed by the government, with the aim of expanding the domestic reach of its film and TV industry.

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez speaks during an event announcing new government projects at the government palace Casa Rosada, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The platform doesn’t have a name yet, but government officials have hinted it will be cheaper than Netflix, which currently cost around $8 a month. The new service will be available only in Argentina.

Late last year, the 62-year-old populist president publicly gushed over Netflix. “I’m a Netflix user,” she said during a public appearance, surprising some of her aides. “I used to be a fan of DirectTV, but now I’m watching Netflix big time. It’s good, I mean seriously good.”

The president went so far as to recommend that her fellow citizens start watching the AMC crime series The Killing. “Check it out,” she urged.


Fernandez’s decision to create a rival service could come at a good time for Argentine filmmakers, some of whom have won critical acclaim in recent years. Director Juan Jose Campanella’s The Secret in Their Eyes won the Oscar for best foreign-language film in 2009. And last year, Argentine film Wild Tales was nominated in the same category.

Argentina's government has long provided subsidies to help stimulate local film production. But some critics of Fernandez, a fiery leftist, wonder if the new service isn't also intended to disseminate government propaganda.


It’s unclear when the service will get rolled out.

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