Netflix is testing a linear channel of scheduled programming

The streaming service is going all retro for its latest endeavour.

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Netflix has taken a cue from traditional television by launching its very own linear channel in France.


The service pioneered streaming and binge-watching practices, which have revolutionised the way people consume content all over the world, making this a somewhat surprising move.

Netflix Direct is a channel accessible only to subscribers, which airs content produced available on the platform in a linear format, much like a typical broadcaster.

The decision to launch exclusively in France was made after analysing viewing habits of users in that country, many of whom preferred scheduled programming over having to choose what to watch themselves.

Since Netflix exploded in popularity, users have joked that they spend more time scrolling through its vast catalogue than they do actually watching what is on offer.

“Maybe you’re not in the mood to decide, or you’re new and finding your way around, or you just want to be surprised by something new and different,” Netflix said in a statement.

Netflix Direct is already available in some parts of France and will expand to further regions next month, but it is unclear whether the channel could make the leap to other territories. has contacted Netflix for comment.

This isn’t the first time that Netflix has experimented with how it distributes its content as the platform has previously trialled a shuffle button, which plays a random film or television show when selected.

Netflix Direct will certainly have no shortage of programming to draw from, as the service’s backlog of shows has kept it ticking along comfortably during the coronavirus pandemic.

Recent hits include Ryan Murphy’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel Ratched, chess drama The Queen’s Gambit and spooky sequel The Haunting of Bly Manor.


Looking for something to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.