Netflix nabs Euro and Latin America exclusive for Breaking Bad prequel

Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spin-off that follows Walter White’s lawyer Saul Goodman before he meets everyone’s favorite meth-cooking teacher, will come to Netflix (S NFLX) in Europe and Latin America the day after it airs on TV in the U.S., according to Engadget. This comes after Netflix released the final season of Breaking Bad the same way in the U.K. this year, and it’s an interesting departure from Netflix’s usual binge-friendly release strategy.

Netflix apparently tried to buy the U.S. rights for Better Call Saul as well after negotiations between Sony Pictures and AMC stalled, but the TV network eventually was able to seal the deal with the studio, according to a Hollywood Reporter story from earlier this year.

Here’s what’s interesting about the Better Call Saul deal: Netflix tends to always release entire seasons of TV shows, and executives have said in the past that the company doesn’t want to be in the business of catch-up TV. But with both both Breaking Bad and now Better Call Saul, Netflix is doing exactly that — offering one episode per week, the day after a show’s been on TV.

That may sound a lot like Hulu, if there wasn’t one key difference: European and Latin American viewers won’t be able to watch Better Call Saul on TV, since Netflix is the exclusive distributor of the show in these markets. That means to viewers in those markets, Netflix is less like a catch-up service and more like a TV network — and the company may just have decided that it’s worth to break the binge-watching habit in this instance to kick-start its ambitious international plans for 2014.