Print 7 comment(s) - last by troysavary.. on Oct 15 at 1:46 PM

Cable companies aren't so sure they trust Netflix

Netflix is currently talking to cable companies in hopes of putting its app on their set-top boxes, but some are still concerned about forming bonds with the Internet video subscription giant. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Netflix is currently in talks with cable TV providers like Comcast Corp., Suddenlink Communications, Verizon Communications Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc. and AT&T Inc. in an effort to get its app on their set-top boxes, but no deals have been made yet. 

If Netflix were to strike such a deal, it would be a first for the company in the U.S. Netflix has already made an agreement with Virgin Media Inc. in the U.K. 

Right now, customers who want to watch Netflix titles on their TVs need Internet-connected televisions or must switch to a different TV-input to get a Netflix signal from web-connected devices. A web app would allow customers easier access to Netflix's movie and TV show library, and will likely increase Netflix's subscriber pool.

Cable companies could also potentially benefit from a Netflix partnership because they believe Netflix users are more likely to buy faster and more expensive broadband packages. Also, there are other possibilities like having Netflix programming as a back-up during channel blackouts.

However, many cable providers are still wary about a partnership with Netflix. The two are considered rivals because Netflix disrupted the traditional way of consuming movie/TV entertainment. Traditionally, customers paid for expensive cable packages -- but when Netflix came along with its cheap monthly subscriptions and a vast library, cable companies have been keeping Netflix at arm's length to protect their business model. 

Some providers worry that Netflix will use the app to eventually offer pay-per-view movies or other services that could compete with the cable company's offerings. 

Another issue is that Netflix wants cable providers to accept its technology for enhancing the delivery of its streaming video -- and because this technology consists of special Netflix servers that connect directly into broadband providers' networks, not many are onboard. 

But Netflix will continue on in hopes of bringing new customers to its service, as tackling cable companies has been a longtime battle for the Internet video company. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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I don't see this happening
By inperfectdarkness on 10/15/2013 4:07:38 AM , Rating: 3
Let's face it. Starz pulled out of a Netflix deal by demanding a stupidly high licensing fee--just to save face. The reality is, Starz wanted to cash in on PPV movies and other ways to milk consumers for money.

Even though Netflix caters to those who don't demand the "latest and greatest" (since the content is usually a season or 2 old, and movies don't come out for 6 months or so), cable companies will still see Netflix as a threat to the cash cow. Even ala-carte programming models won't change that.

Netflix would be much better off trying to fight its way into the European market as a whole--rather than vying for another way for US consumers to get content from their servers. Regional lockouts are such a draconian and un-necessary measure in the 21st century.

RE: I don't see this happening
By troysavary on 10/15/2013 5:24:09 AM , Rating: 1
I wouldn't even have cable TV, except that it comes in a package with my fiber internet for not much more than I would pay for the net itself, and having it keeps the wife happy. I get my TV, internet, and home phone all over fiber. Almost every channel we watch is available in HD too. I called in and managed to get a customer loyalty discount so now the whole package costs less than $120 and that is for 180/30 internet, free long distance province-wide, and every specialty TV package that remotely interests anyone in the family. It is amazing what kinds of deals you can get if you even hint at switching to a competitor. I would not have switched anyway, as my internet has no cap, and the local cable co has a cap, but they didn't have to know that.

RE: I don't see this happening
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/15/2013 8:37:18 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like Bell.

Checked in my area and we don't get fiber where I am. Too bad cause that looks mighty attractive.

Yeah, you can get some pretty good deals with the whole 'I'm leaving unless you can give me a reason to stay' negotiations. Watch out though as those 'customer retention' bonuses are usually only good for a year or so It means you have to go thru it all over again in a year else face being bumped up to an even higher price for the package in a year or so.

RE: I don't see this happening
By troysavary on 10/15/2013 1:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it is Aliant, which is mostly owned by Bell now. It wasn't this good of a deal at first, but I called and told them a Rogers salesrep called me (that part was true) and I was tempted to switch. They gave me the great deal if I promised to stay for 3 years.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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