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1 in 3 anglo Canadian Netflix users are streaming from U.S. catalogue: poll

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TORONTO - In the U.S., you can log into Netflix to catch the controversial final season of "Dexter," binge on all seven seasons of "30 Rock," watch the first eight seasons of the cult TV comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," stream all but the most recent season of the biker drama "Sons of Anarchy," or catch the first three seasons of the break-out hit "Louie."

In Canada, none of those are available.

But there's a not-so-secret trick for Canadian Netflix subscribers to access movies and TV shows that are supposed to be available only south of the border.

And a new report suggests one in three anglophone Canadian Netflix users have figured it out.

The Media Technology Monitor commissioned a telephone poll of 2,002 anglophone Canadians this spring to ask respondents about their tech habits and routines.

About 32 per cent said they were Netflix subscribers, which was up from the 25 per cent of respondents who said they used the streaming service when a similar poll was conducted in the spring of 2013.

In the latest survey, about one in three said they had been Netflix subscribers for two or more years, while similar numbers said they'd been subscribing for one to two years, and less than a year.

A large majority, 88 per cent, said they were streaming content through Netflix every week.

When asked what type of content they watched, there was a slight preference for streaming TV shows over movies and documentaries.

Netflix, which is now operating in more than 40 countries, offers different content in each local market, depending on licensing agreements signed for the nation.

A Netflix customer who travels to another country where the streaming service operates can log in there and see the local content that's on offer, which can be dramatically different than what's available back home.

But according to the MTM survey, a significant number of Canadian Netflix users — 35 per cent — have stumbled upon a trick to access content available in other countries.

There are free and subscription-based online services that mask a user's Internet address to make it appear they actually reside elsewhere.

One of the most popular reasons for signing up for those services is the ability to access different catalogues of content through Netflix.

The telephone poll was conducted by Forum Research between from March 18 and April 19. The results are considered accurate 2.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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