Netflix and the cable industry have been at odds ever since the video streaming service launched. Now the company may be keeping its enemies closer.
A new report in The Wall Street Journal suggests that Netflix is in the very “early stage” of negotiations with U.S. cable providers. Among its first targets are Comcast and Suddenlink Communications. Under the deal Netflix would be installed on set-top boxes, giving cable TV customers instant access to the Netflix arsenal.
In the UK Netflix is already making its app available to approximately 1.7 million TiVo owners after the company signed a deal Virgin Media last month.
A move towards integrated Netflix and cable TV provider support shouldn’t come as a surprise, last month David Wells, Netflix’s chief financial officer, said his company “would love to reduce the friction to the end consumer” by working with cable providers to provide set-top box support. Wells say it was up to cable TV providers “to decide how much of a competitor they view us as or a complement.”
Netflix subscribers must currently connect to the company’s service by way of an internet-connected TV, add-on console or through their standard internet connection.
Over the last several years the company has expanded onto Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, and various other consumer acquired electronics.
The move would also eliminate the need for secondary devices when connecting to Netflix content.The partnership may be beneficial to cable providers who can point out that their customers can gain access to more shows that are readily available. That fact could give Comcast, Suddenlink Communications, and other providers more leverage over TV networks who charge an increasing premium for access to their content.Do you think Netflix would be a good complement on set-top boxes?