Netflix Wants Cable Companies to Put its App on Set-Top Boxes
October 14, 2013 5:53 PM
Cable companies aren't so sure they trust 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.
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.
The Wall Street Journal
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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