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'Breaking Bad' spin-off comes to Netflix next year

Netflix will stream "Better Call Saul," the coming spin-off series from AMC's popular "Breaking Bad," in Europe and Latin America soon after it airs and after the season finale in the US and Canada.

Bob Odenkirk plays lawyer Saul Goodman on "Breaking Bad" and in a coming spin-off series, "Better Call Saul." AMC

"Breaking Bad" fans who subscribe to Netflix in the US and Canada aren't quite as lucky as their peers elsewhere, but the streaming service is bringing "Better Call Saul," a forthcoming prequel series based on the show's mall-based lawyer, to all subscribers next year.

Netflix said Monday that "Better Call Saul" will be available to streaming members in Europe and Latin America shortly after its airing in the US, beginning in 2014. In the US and Canada, the complete first season of the show will be available to Netflix members after its season finale on AMC.

It's the only streaming service with the rights to the show. Netflix has pretty much blanketed Latin America, but its penetration in Europe is more limited -- though connectivity where it has rolled out is high.

The deal underscores the international opportunity that digital streaming has opened up for content creators, after syndication (typically long after) was once the chief way for television studios to make money overseas. Earlier this year, Netflix arranged for its streaming users in the UK and Ireland to be able to access the latest "Breaking Bad" episode a day after it aired on cable in the US.

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said "Breaking Bad," which follows a high-school chemistry teacher turned meth drug lord, has been a hit with Netflix subscribers. In the past, network AMC has credited Netflix's making the show's back catalog available to binge as a factor in its building popularity from year to year.

"Better Call Saul" tells the story of lawyer Saul Goodman in the years before he became Walter White's attorney.