Netflix to stream Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Canada — and nowhere else

Netflix has confirmed that Canada alone has secured streaming rights for the hotly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII.

Netflix has confirmed that Canada is its only market with streaming rights for Star Wars: Episode VII in 2016

U.S. Netflix subscribers may feel a bit jealous of Canadians for a change when the hotly-anticipated new Star Wars film goes from theatres to streaming. (Star Wars/Disney)

Turned, the tables have been.

After what seems like light-years of griping about the fact that Netflix users get more (and sometimes better) titles in the U.S., Canadians will soon have exclusive access to something our American friends might actually install a VPN for: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

A representative from Netflix confirmed to CBC News on Sunday that Canada is its only territory in which streaming rights for the hotly-anticipated forthcoming Star Wars film has been secured.

"The reason Netflix will be able to offer the much-anticipated movie in Canada next year — and not in the U.S. or anywhere else — has to do with the timing of when Disney's pay-TV distribution deals were up for grabs," reports Variety, which broke the news Friday.

Netflix confirmed to CBC News that Canada is its only territory with streaming rights for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press)
According to Variety's report, Disney does have a content deal with Netflix in the U.S. — but it won't commence until 2016. Films with theatrical debuts in 2015 still fall under Disney's current output deal with American premium cable channel Starz.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is slated to hit theatres Dec. 18 of this year, giving Starz alone the exclusive rights to stream it in the U.S.

Canada, on the other hand, boasts a slightly different situation.

"Fortuitously for Netflix Canada subs, the company's deal with Disney started with 2015 releases after the previous agreements for the pay-TV window with Corus Entertainment and Bell Canada expired," Variety explains. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens is slated to come to the service in the country; under the terms of the deal, that will occur approximately eight months after the movie leaves theatres."

Anticipation for The Force Awakens, the seventh film in the blockbuster Star Wars franchise, is extremely high. To say the least.

Last week, Lucasfilm unveiled the movie's official poster and two short teaser videos to promote a new trailer. The trailer, set to air during the halftime segment of Monday Night Football Oct. 19, was meant to air immediately before tickets for the theatrical release of the film went on sale.

Eager fans swarmed online ticketing sites earlier that day, however, prompting several to crash under the demand. 

Vue Cinemas reported selling 10,000 tickets in just 90 minutes, while the U.K.'s Picturehouse chain reported "unprecedented" demand.

Based on early excitement over the film, it stands to reason that some U.S. Netflix subscribers may feel a bit jealous of Canadians when it starts streaming.

Some may even attempt to subvert Netflix's geoblocking restrictions by making it look as though they have Canadian I.P. addresses. Who'd have thought the day would come?

And, naturally, many Canadians are stoked to have some online content exclusivity cred for once.

For the record, Canadians can also view such unavailable-in-the-U.S. Netflix titles as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire HunterConeheads, and the original Air Bud.



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