The big Netflix news will come later today, when the company releases its third-quarter earnings. That’s expected to include data on just how many subscribers fled the company after its recent public relations disaster that included a surprise fee hike, splitting off its streaming service from its DVD-by-mail service and then putting them back together again. For the year, Netflix’s stock is down by a third. Meanwhile, this morning’s news officially continues the company’s international expansion. Here’s the release:

LOS GATOS, Calif., Oct. 24, 2011 — Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the leading global Internet movie subscription service, today announced it will expand to the United Kingdom and Ireland in early 2012, offering unlimited TV shows and movies streaming instantly over the Internet to TVs and computers for one low monthly subscription price.

Upon launch, Netflix members from the UK and Ireland will be able to instantly watch a wide array of TV shows and movies right on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as on PCs, Macs and mobile tablets and phones. Further details about the service, including pricing, content and supported devices, will be announced closer to launch.
Netflix has been streaming to U.S. members since 2007, adding Canada in 2010 and 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in September 2011. Netflix has revolutionized entertainment across the Americas by giving its members a huge selection of movies and TV shows to enjoy when and where they want.

People interested in becoming members of Netflix in the UK or Ireland can go to http://www.netflix.com to sign up to receive an email alert letting them know when Netflix has launched in their country.