How Netflix in SA compares with the USA

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While many South Africans have celebrated the announcement of Netflix launching in SA, the question we now have to ask is what there is to binge watch on the streaming service.

At first glance the offering appears decent, once you’ve signed up you’re greeted by a screen showcasing what’s popular including Netflix Original series like Jessica Jones, Narcos and Sense8.

Once the joy of having Netflix in South Africa wears off however, you start to notice some glaring differences between our offering and the offering in the US.

Netflix Original series Orange is the New Black and House of Cards are nowhere to be seen which is strange considering Netflix owns the distribution rights to these shows – speculation is that it’s because DSTV owns exclusive rights to these shows in SA for the time being, but we’ve not been able to get confirmation of that. Newer TV shows such as The Flash are also nowhere to be found, although two seasons of The Arrow are available right now.

The table below breaks down some of series available in the US compared with what we have available to us here in South Africa.

Series Netflix US Netflix SA
Jessica Jones
The Walking Dead
Orange Is The New Black
Marco Polo
The Blacklist
House of Cards
Under The Dome
Breaking Bad
Hemlock Grove
The Arrow
Grey’s Anatomy
The Following
Brooklyn Nine Nine
The Flash

You can solve this problem by using a service such as Filmefy, a service which lets you search the catalogues of all Netflix territories. Combined with a region masking service like UnoTelly, you’ll be able to watch Netflix content from any region. Series such as Grey’s Anatomy and The Following are also strangely absent, we’ve contacted Netflix to find out why and we will update you once we have a response.

Once you’ve found what you’re looking for simply point UnoTelly (or similar) at the country you’re pretending to be from, login to Netflix and enjoy.

With all of that said, Netflix does face a hard slog here in South Africa especially since the launch of Showmax last year.

Comparing the two Showmax does have a better offering with shows like Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory and Shameless all available to binge watch immediately.

Showmax also allows you to download content to watch offline, bring the cost of data down if you have internet access elsewhere that you can use to download.

We’re going to keep an eye on the content Netflix releases in the coming months and hopefully the offering improves but at least they’re here now and you don’t need to use trickery to login.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.