Netflix getting ready to play with the big boys with possible US cable deal



Netflix is currently in talks with a number of US Pay TV providers, including Comcast and Suddenlink Communications, to make its app available on set-top boxes, reports the Wall Street Journal. A deal like this would be a first for the video streaming site.

Right now, viewers who want to stream Netflix on their TV sets have to either own an internet-connected TV or another TV-input to get a Netflix signal from other connected devices. A deal like this means a much easier way for users to access Netflix and also much more reach for the company.

Netflix currently boasts an audience of 36.3-million subscribers, 29.2-million of whom are in the United States. The rest of the service’s audience is spread between Canada, South America, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. That’s bigger than HBO’s reported 28.7-million subscribers.

According to the Journal, a deal like this has been out for the streaming services for while now due to media companies “worrying the online TV service could lure eyeballs away from their own video services”.

“Netflix until this summer had programming contracts with entertainment companies that made such deals difficult to strike in the U.S., people familiar with the matter say. But recently, media companies have become more comfortable with the prospect, and Netflix has been able to negotiate out of those old restrictions,” says the Journal.

As great as this is, it seems the deal’s finalization is dependent on whether the cable providers use Netflix’s special technology, which is meant to improve the delivery of its video streaming, a point the streaming company is insistent on.

Read full WSJ piece here.



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