Is there such a thing as too popular?
The new Netflix series Squid Game could be just that.
On Friday, South Korean internet provider SK Broadband announced it had sued the streaming giant over a surge in data usage caused by the new hit show.
The network provider wants Netflix to pay up, claiming the spike in internet traffic led to maintenance costs it should be liable for, Reuters reported.
Last week, Netflix boss Ted Sarandos said the violent dystopian thriller was set to become its “biggest show ever.”
The extremely violent series involves adults playing life-threatening versions of children’s games for the chance to win enough money to pay their debts.
Fans are already waiting for a second season, but South Korean director Hwang Dong-hyuk said he started writing the series in 2008 and the idea of a sequel was “quite tiring”.
“I don’t have well-developed plans for Squid Game 2,” he told Variety.
The gore-fest has also been met with rave reviews from professional critics.
Time Magazine’s Judy Berman called it “the ultimate binge bait.”
That binge-bait quality could explain why it has caused such an uproar over boosted internet traffic.
But the downloads from Squid Game were not the sole reason SK decided to sue, claiming the US company has dodged millions in network usage fees.
- Related: No spoilers: What is Squid Game?
Netflix is the second largest data driver in South Korea after YouTube, and both are the only online platforms that do not pay any fees, SK claims.
SK has estimated Netflix owes at least $US23 million ($31 million) from 2020 alone.
A Seoul court agreed the US company should “reasonably” be contributing financially for generating so much online traffic.
Netflix said it will review the claim and will work with SK to ensure customers are not affected by it.