The DC Universe streaming service will bring DC movies, TV shows, and comics to your living room if you live in the United States, but when will it be available internationally? DC fans span the entire globe, so even though the United States is a big market, a large number of fans will still be waiting for the service to become available well after launch.
DC hasn't issued any official statement on how long audiences outside the US will have to wait, but it could be a number of years. Netflix and CBS All Access were streaming in the US for 3 years before expanding to Canada (their first international region), but Hulu, on the other hand, has yet to reach outside the country. Amazon Prime saw a fairly quick international availability, but this was due to the acquisition of LoveFilm, which was already streaming video overseas.
DC Universe's Current Limited Availability Outside the United States
While DC Universe will only be available in the United States at launch, that doesn't simply mean it will only be available in the 50 US states. It will also be available in US territories at launch, including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Minor Outlying Islands.
International distribution rights can be problematic, especially for a streaming service. Some major platforms like Hulu are only available in the United States, while others, like Netflix, have different catalogs in different countries. There's a variety of reasons for this, but the biggest is existing content deals.
Movies and TV shows often have independent licensing deals with each country, meaning a streaming service will often need to reach individual licensing deals in each country where they want to stream a given movie. This also means pricing will vary from location to location, especially if there is another competing deal, such as if there is an exclusive deal in place with a TV network.
It's not clear if DC Universe plans to have a singular catalog when it finally becomes available internationally, or simply rotate its selection on a region-by-region basis like Netflix, although the latter seems most likely. While no official international plans have been made official, other streaming services, like CBS All Access, have sold or leased the rights for some of their shows to other networks, like Amazon or Netflix, until proper distribution was set. If DC follows this approach, it would mean DC Universe's original shows like Titans, Swamp Thing, and Doom Patrol could still see international distribution before DC Universe is ready to deploy worldwide.
If history is any example, Canada is a likely contender for DC Universe's first international expansion, which would follow in the footsteps of Netflix and CBS All Access. Any regional expansions beyond that will have to wait and see.