Netflix will further ramp up its rivalry with Amazon’s Lovefilm when it expands into the Nordic region. The company, which launched in the UK and Ireland in January where Lovefilm was already an established player, will offer streaming of TV shows and movies in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland before the end of 2012. Along with the UK, Lovefilm also operates in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Netflix, which has UK deals with studios including Disney, Fox, NBCU, Paramount and Miramax, did not announce partners for the Nordic territories, but promised a “wide array of Hollywood, local and global TV shows and movies.” It does have a historical relationship with Norway, however, having acquired the Norwegian-produced series Lilyhammer as the first original to launch on the service. Netflix had previously said it would bench international plans until a return to profitability somewhere around the midpoint of this year. In July, the company reported stronger-than-forecast Q2 earnings, but also a “consolidated loss” in Q4. Hinting at the Nordic move, it also noted it would launch in another overseas market during Q4 “which will drive us temporarily back into the red.” CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells said in a note that shareholders “are depending on us to succeed in our global expansion, market by market, and eventually return to substantial global profits.”

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