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Comcast has its own streaming service called Streampix

It looks as if Netflix's plans to join forces with cable companies may be foiled already, as Comcast refuses to offer Netflix on its Xfinity TV service.

Earlier this month, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said it was likely that his video streaming service would end up doing business with cable service providers in the future. He saw this as a smart move, considering the fact that he recognizes HBO's Go on-demand as Netflix's top competitor. Moving in to the cable business would offer cable providers an alternative to HBO Go and put Netflix higher in the ranks.

"It's not in the short term, but it's the natural direction for us in the long term," said Hastings. "Many [cable service providers] would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO."

However, Comcast has already thrown a wrench in Netflix's plans. According to Alana Davis, a Comcast spokeswoman, the cable operator has no intention of working with Netflix or offering it as an on-demand service.

"We have no plans to offer access to Netflix to our customers through our Xfinity TV service, no matter what device," said Davis.

This is a pretty big blow to Netflix, considering Comcast is the country's largest cable company with 22.3 million Xfinity subscribers. Also, Comcast already offers a service similar to Netflix called Streampix, which eliminates the need for Netflix's service. Comcast's service is also $4.99 per month as part of a cable package while Netflix's service starts at $7.99 per month.

Netflix is still doing okay for itself for now after recovering from a rocky 2011, which entailed troubles like price hikes and angry customers leaving the service, but Netflix may have to rethink its next move since Comcast let it down like a bad first date.

Source: The New York Times

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Forgot to mention..
By phazers on 3/9/2012 1:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
When I first switched over to digital service from Comcast (for extra $$ of course), my first bill included an extra $15 a month charge for "digital TV", on top of the "digital channel service" or whatever Comcast called it. SO when I call the local customer service to ask why the extra charge, she just said that the "digital channel service" let the cable carry the digital TV signals, which were extra cost. I said that didn't make any sense since I never saw anybody come out and dig up the coax and replace it with new coax, or even twiddle with the Comcast box in the street. She kept insisting that my bill was correct, so I asked to speak to the supervisor and got the exact same runaround as the first poster. Finally I hung up and discovered that Comcast had a customer service chat facility on their home page, and decided to give that a go. Needless to say, within 5 minutes I had the extra charges removed and a promise that they would not show up again (and unlike the mysterious STB charges, they never did show up again).

Comcast's problems mostly stem from their local offices, where they hire people who rarely know their arse from my elbow, and don't care to improve either. Pretty much "take it or shove it up your arse" attitude more suited to a bill collector than anything else. Maybe that's what they get all day long - low-income customers who are complaining about the late payment charges or some such. Anyway, I'm done with them for the next two years, and after that maybe I'll go with OTA or satellite. We do have choices, and Comcast would dry up and shrivel if enough customers walk away..

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