Telefonica prepares movie, TV series streaming service - source

MADRID, June 9 Mon Jun 9, 2014 7:30am EDT

MADRID, June 9 (Reuters) - Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica is preparing to launch a video streaming service for movies and television series, a source close to the matter said on Monday.

Telefonica agreed to acquire pay-TV service Distribuidora de Television Digital, also known as Ditital+, a unit of media group Prisa, at the beginning of June.

With the buy of Digital+, Telefonica would control close to 60 percent of the pay-TV business in Spain, according to competition authorities.

Telefonica had around 730,000 pay-TV clients at the end of March and aims to more than double that by the end of the year.

Movie streaming services are rare in Spain, with Netflix and Amazon's Lovefilm keeping out of the country where content piracy is widely practiced.

"They're working on this, but it's a complicated process requiring the acquisition of catalogues and content rights. It could be on the market by the end of the year," the source said. (Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by David Holmes)