Canadian Netflix users often complain about the limited quantity (and sometimes quality) of shows available to them in Canada. This has resulted in Canadians either leaving Netflix for other options, manipulating the system in order to trick Netflix into thinking that they are in the States, or even paying third parties to reroute their Netflix to the American one.
Netflix has responded to this criticism by releasing more content to Canadian viewers (as well as releasing more Canadian content, including Trailer Park Boys, to worldwide viewers) in attempt to satiate and retain Canadian viewers and reduce the number of people faking their digital address.
In the latest attempt to appeal to the North, Netflix has announced that Canadians will have exclusive access to streaming the newest Star Wars film, Star Wars: the Force Awakens.
CBC reports that the reasoning behind this exclusivity is because Disney currently has an agreement with the cable channel Starz that all Disney movies appearing in theatres in 2015 will be exclusive to Starz in the States. While this deal has not been renewed, it is still in effect for any films theatrically released before 2016.
While Disney will be able to license new releases to Netflix after 2016, the new Star Wars film has its theatrical debut in 2015, meaning that Starz will have exclusive access to it once it is available to stream. This deal, however, does not apply to Canadian streaming sites, and therefore Netflix users in Canada will be able to stream the film once it comes out next year.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theatres in December 18, and will likely be released for streaming and home purchase in 2016.