The survival game series 'Squid Game' is officially the most popular TV show on its initial debut that Netflix has ever released, according to the streaming giant. Now, it has also become a reason for Netflix's visit to courts as South Korean broadband firm is suing the streaming giant over the show's popularity.
The streaming platform said Tuesday that the ultraviolent Korean drama has been sampled by 111 million members since its September 17 premiere worldwide, over the span of just 25 days, reports Variety. This means 'Squid Game' has been viewed by more people in its initial month of release than the previous number one holder, 'Bridgerton', which Netflix said had been selected to watch by 82 million households in the first 28 days of release.
The company more recently released, for the first time, a ranking of the top 10 most-viewed original shows and films by total hours viewed.
Still, 'Squid Game' has captured gargantuan buzz and has consistently ranked as the number one series across the globe since it debuted, according to Netflix.
Two weeks ago, Netflix co-CEO and content chief Ted Sarandos said the show had a very good chance of becoming the streamer's biggest show ever.
"We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity," Sarandos said at Vox Media's Code Conference. Neither did it see a lawsuit coming its way over the show's popularity in South Korea.
Netflix sued over "Squid Game"
South Korean broadband service provider SK Broadband has sued Netflix, as it demands the streaming giant to pay for costs from the increased network traffic and maintenance work as a result of Squid Game's viewership. This follows a Seoul Court's order, where it said Netflix should reasonably compensate the internet service provider for the network usage.
Squid Game's popularity shot up Netflix's status as the country's second-largest data traffic generator after YouTube. Interestingly, these are the only two firms that do not pay network usage fees, whereas other providers like Facebook, Amazon and Apple already pay SK for the same.
According to SK, Netflix's data traffic jumped 24 times from May 2018 to 1.2 trillion bits of data processed per second. Netflix has been using SK's dedicated line since 2018. As per a previous lawsuit on similar grounds, SK had estimated the network usage fee for Netflix to be $22.9 million in 2020 alone.
Netflix has said that it will review SK's claim and find a way which does not affect the customers. Netflix has argued that it has contributed towards creation of about 16,000 jobs in South Korean from about 770 billion won in investments. On the contrary, Netflix had paid a fee to Comcast for faster streaming speeds, but a company official said that Netflix no longer pays Comcast for network access.