The passage below is accompanied by four questions. Based on the passage, choose the best answer for each question.

Umberto Eco, an Italian writer, was right when he said the language of Europe is translation. Netflix and other deep-pocketed global firms speak it well. Just as the EU employs a small army of translators and interpreters to turn intricate laws or impassioned speeches of Romanian MEPs into the EU’s 24 official languages, so do the likes of Netflix. It now offers dubbing in 34 languages and subtitling in a few more. . . .

The economics of European productions are more appealing, too. American audiences are more willing than before to give dubbed or subtitled viewing a chance. This means shows such as “Lupin”, a French crime caper on Netflix, can become global hits. . . . In 2015, about 75% of Netflix’s original content was American; now the figure is half, according to Ampere, a media-analysis company. Netflix has about 100 productions under way in Europe, which is more than big public broadcasters in France or Germany. . . .

Not everything works across borders. Comedy sometimes struggles. Whodunits and bloodthirsty maelstroms between arch Romans and uppity tribesmen have a more universal appeal. Some do it better than others. Barbarians aside, German television is not always built for export, says one executive, being polite. A bigger problem is that national broadcasters still dominate. Streaming services, such as Netflix or Disney+, account for about a third of all viewing hours, even in markets where they are well-established. Europe is an ageing continent. The generation of teens staring at phones is outnumbered by their elders who prefer to gawp at the box.

In Brussels and national capitals, the prospect of Netflix as a cultural hegemon is seen as a threat. “Cultural sovereignty” is the watchword of European executives worried that the Americans will eat their lunch. To be fair, Netflix content sometimes seems stuck in an uncanny valley somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, with local quirks stripped out. Netflix originals tend to have fewer specific cultural references than shows produced by domestic rivals, according to Enders, a market analyst. The company used to have an imperial model of commissioning, with executives in Los Angeles cooking up ideas French people might like. Now Netflix has offices across Europe. But ultimately the big decisions rest with American executives. This makes European politicians nervous.

They should not be. An irony of European integration is that it is often American companies that facilitate it. Google Translate makes European newspapers comprehensible, even if a little clunky, for the continent’s non-polyglots. American social-media companies make it easier for Europeans to talk politics across borders. (That they do not always like to hear what they say about each other is another matter.) Now Netflix and friends pump the same content into homes across a continent, making culture a cross-border endeavour, too. If Europeans are to share a currency, bail each other out in times of financial need and share vaccines in a pandemic, then they need to have something in common—even if it is just bingeing on the same series. Watching fictitious northern and southern Europeans tear each other apart 2,000 years ago beats doing so in reality.

Question 5

Based on information provided in the passage, all of the following are true, EXCEPT:


Option B is not supported by the information in the passage. While the passage mentions that Netflix has offices across Europe, it also notes that the big decisions still rest with American executives. The passage suggests that Netflix's content might still exhibit a somewhat mid-Atlantic quality, and the company's executive decisions remain under the control of Americans, making it less accurate to claim that Netflix has completely transformed into a truly European entity.

Option A is supported by the passage, which mentions shows like "Lupin," a French crime caper on Netflix, becoming global hits.

Option C: The passage specifically mentions that, according to Ampere, a media-analysis company, in 2015, about 75% of Netflix’s original content was American, but now the figure is half. This indicates a shift in the geographical distribution of Netflix's original programming, with a decrease in the proportion of American content.

Option D is true as the passage mentions that streaming services like Netflix account for about a third of all viewing hours, challenging the dominance of national broadcasters.

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