Comcast, Netflix partnership to materialize next week

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,186   +120
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Traditional cable providers have been at odds with subscription streaming and over-the-top providers for a few years now. Rather than try to fight a losing battle, Comcast has wisely come to the realization that perhaps the two can co-exist (if for nothing else, to slow the loss of defectors until they can come up with a better solution).

Answering to rumors, the two companies confirmed in July that they were indeed working on a joint venture. On Friday, they revealed all.

Starting next week, Netflix will be integrated directly into Comcast’s X1 platform in what can only be viewed as a win for all parties involved.

For Xfinity customers, the integration will eliminate the need to switch inputs and juggle multiple remotes to watch something on Netflix. Further simplifying things, customers will be able to launch the Netflix app simply by saying “Netflix” into the X1’s voice remote.

Perhaps more importantly, Netflix’s content library will be seamlessly integrated into the X1 platform. This means you’ll be able to search for an actor and see everything they’re in across both Xfinity and Netflix. What’s more, users could begin watching a series like The Walking Dead or Scandal from the very beginning (via Netflix) and continue on through the latest episodes (via Xfinity).

For Comcast, the deal could help stem the tide of subscribers canceling their service and moving to cheaper over-the-top services and free over-the-air programming. For all of the benefits that cutting the cord affords, pay-TV is still unmatched in some areas.

Although not mentioned, the deal will also likely serve as an additional source of revenue for Comcast as Netflix is no doubt providing some sort of kickback in exchange for Comcast adding their service.

The partnership offers Netflix the opportunity to reinvigorate domestic subscriber growth, an area that has shown early signs of saturation. Older generations or customers that otherwise haven’t yet been exposed to streaming apps and services could be worthwhile targets. To make signing up less of a daunting task, Netflix’s monthly charge can even be added to a customer’s Comcast bill.

Some will no doubt argue that, if you already pay for traditional cable, you don’t really need a Netflix account. Up until just a few years ago, most would have probably agreed with that statement. Since that time, however, Netflix has built an impressive stable stocked with compelling original content like Orange is the New Black, Fuller House, House of Cards, BoJack Horseman and Stranger Things - shows that you simply can’t find anywhere else.

As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

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Posts: 981   +339
WOW ... Netflix must really getting desperate!
Kind of smart since I have a feeling Comcast will announce that streaming Netflix through the X1 platform will not count towards the data cap they are putting up everywhere. It would put Netflix in a more preferred spot when it comes to streaming on Comcast, which I am sure they like while.
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Posts: 5,121   +3,209
WOW ... Netflix must really getting desperate!
I would think that it is Comcast that is getting desperate. Netflix has some, IMHO at least, high-quality original offerings that are attracting a lot of viewers. Their original Marvel series are highly rated, and I thought Stranger Things was also very good.

Not being much of a sports fan, I cannot agree that pay-tv is still unmatched in some areas. Having cut the cord and pulled the siphon out of my wallet, I am now paying less than 1/4 of what I was paying before, and this time, though I cannot possibly watch all the content on Netflix that interests me, I am paying for what I want rather than a bunch of stuff I do not care about. Plus, I am no longer subsidizing sports for everyone else. If I really cared about sports that much - I do not have the time to watch it - I would subscribe to "Center Ice" from the NHL web site.

OTA TV has also become a staple for me, without the $5.99/mo fee I was paying for it when I was bound to the cord.

So all that said, I am willing to bet that Comcast is paying Netflix, since Netflix is essentially a content provider, a pretty penny for the right to serve them up in this fashion. Personally, even if I were in a Comcast subscriber region, I would never put the siphon back into my wallet just because of this.

I doubt this really helps Netflix all that much, however, I imagine that it helps Comcast.


Posts: 544   +183
TechSpot Elite
I quit using Netflix because they partnered with Google. I tried to ask whether the 'data storage' was available to google's 'research' but got only a link to the video on why they expanded to the cloud. So, no Netflix.

Now Comcast. I'm not now and will not use X1 because the privacy issues are just huge. If this turns into another "Google gets the info because ..." thing, well, that will save me a couple hundred bucks per month on the everything there is Comcast package I have now.


Posts: 1,458   +802
"...Netflix has built an impressive stable stocked with compelling original content like Orange is the New Black, Fuller House...shows that you simply can’t find anywhere else."

That implies anyone was actually looking for "Fuller House". Hint: they weren't.