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Netflix Cable Partnership to Rival HBO?

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has met with some of the largest U.S. cable companies to discuss adding Netflix to their cable offerings.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been in talks with cable operators about adding the streaming video service onto their set-top boxes, Reuters is reporting.

Reuters says Netflix could be offered as a feature the cable company would charge for and share the revenue with Netflix.

On one hand, it sounds like madness. Why would a cable company encourage users to try out a service that could replace much of its video watching? But what if the cable company uses Netflix as its VOD arm? Then the cable company wouldn’t have to spend so much time developing and managing is VOD platform. And what if that cable company also controlled a major TV network and a movie studio?

Reuters also suggests Netflix sees itself as a rival to cable TV channels like HBO. Netflix does now offer some of its own original programming. If a complete integration of Netflix offerings isn’t possible, due to many complicated content licenses, perhaps Netflix original programming could come to cable VOD without the need to actually be a Netflix customer.

“To be able to add Netflix to the bill, that might be very powerful, especially as we do more and more original content,” Hastings said at a Morgan Stanley media and technology conference in San Francisco last week. “We are more and more a classic cable network.”

Comcast, however, has come out and said it's not interested in partnering with Netflix. "We have no plans to offer access to Netflix to our customers through our Xfinity TV service, no matter what device," Comcast spokeswoman Alana Davis told FierceCable.

A few weeks ago, Verizon announced that it will be working on a streaming service with DVD rental company Redbox.

Streaming video over broadband has created a whole new world for content providers, so expect many tentative moves and trial programs before all the players figure out where they stand.

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Video · Digital Media · Streaming Media · Netflix · Comcast · All topics

About the Author

Grant Clauser
Grant Clauser is a technology editor, covering home electronics for more than 10 years for such publications as Electronic House and Dealerscope. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore.

1 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Dawn  on  03/09  at  11:42 PM

Seems like everyone is partnered up and Netflix is left standing in the corner, alone. I left Netflix when my employer, DISH, started Blockbuster @Home. I’m paying $10 a month for Blockbuster @Home (less than I was paying for streaming/disc rentals from Netflix) and I get streaming, DVD/Blu-ray and video game rentals by mail (more options than what Netflix has). I’ve lost all use for Netflix and it seems like cable companies don’t have any use for them either.

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