Netflix working with cable companies as on-demand alternative?

By on March 7, 2012, 3:30 PM

According to multiple sources at Reuters, Netflix may be considering a deal with cable network companies. Few details are known about the proposal, but one source claims the plan may be to bundle Netflix as an on-demand option for cable television subscribers.

The report claims that Netflix's CEO, Reed Hastings, took part in low-profile meetings with senior cable executives in order to discuss potential partnerships. Such a partnership would be ironic as industry players have been visibly concerned about subscribers "cutting the cord" -- leaving their expensive cable television subscriptions for cheaper, Internet-based alternatives to shows and movies.

Hastings recently commented that he believes cable networks would like to have a viable alternative to HBO. Netflix, he suggested, could be that alternative in the long term. Hasting's words seem to imply that there may be distant plans to provide Netflix through traditional cable outlets.

"It's not in the short term, but it's in the natural direction for us in the long term," said Hastings, speaking at an investor conference last week. "Many (cable service providers) would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO."


Comcast recently announced Streampix, an addition to their Xfinity video streaming service. The company believes Streampix will rival Netflix at a cheaper price, although that is yet to be seen. With this in mind, it is easy to assume that Comcast will be one cable who is not interested in a deal with Netflix. However, Comcast's foray into streaming may, at the very least, encourage other cable operators to consider Netflix's proposal as a stopgap countermeasure.

Even if a deal can be struck with cable companies, Netflix could still be in for a real headache. According to an unnamed senior programming executive, some of Netflix's content deals may explicitly prohibit delivery of Netflix through cable boxes. If this is the case, Netflix may be forced to possibly rework or drop certain, existing content deals.

User Comments: 6

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Guest said:

But instead of 8 bucks a month it will be $40

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Guest said:

But instead of 8 bucks a month it will be $40

Wouldn't be surprised.

As a Netflix customer, I'm a bit skeptical of how effective this idea may be. Frankly, Netflix does not have the library to make customers reconsider ditching their cable companies. It might stall the exodus, but these guys are doomed if they keep trying to adhere to the current model. That said, Vudu would be more promising, as their service, while more expensive, is infinitely better than Netflix. But if the cable companies really want to retain some viewers... How about showing something worthy of waiting through 20+ minutes of commercials for? That would go a long way to solving the problem.

Renrew Renrew said:

60% increase, $40.00 perhaps, for cable streaming, censored content on R rated movies. Partnering with cable companies-- my my they sure know how to go the way of the DoDo bird and tee off their customers.

They're paying Hastings for these blunders?

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Not sure about the US but in Canada Rogers already offers an on demand service for their cable subscribers.

I would be willing to pay Netflix $30 a month if they could provide the current content I want. Heck I would gladly pay a Rogers or Bell $30 a month for me to be able to watch the current content I really want to watch (its not as if I want 100+ channels, I just want 10).


If they add commercials i will drop them like a rock in the lake.... Spalsh...

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I already cut the cord.

I watch Netflix for $8 a month with a $25 per month internet subscription. This $33 / Month gets me all the TV that I want, and doesn't cost the $60 / month for the "Starter" package with my cable provider which only offers live TV (can't start shows when I want since it doesn't include a DVR) and only offers 70 channels. And I know that 20 of those channels are worthless to me since their either foreign language, shopping, or public access.

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