Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is testing a programmed linear content channel in France, Variety reported. The channel, called Netflix Direct, will be available to Netflix streaming subscribers and will provide content from its existing streaming library in a linear format, much like cable and broadcast TV stations do.

“Maybe you’re not in the mood to decide, or you’re new and finding your way around, or you just want to be surprised by something new and different,” Netflix said in a statement announcing the new service. It chose France for the launch of Netflix Direct because traditional TV is “hugely popular” there, and people “just want a ‘lean back’ experience where they don’t have to choose shows,” the company said.

Netflix Direct rolled out in some…

Continue reading…