Time Warner Cable had reportedly been in talks with Netflix regarding a deal that would give TWC subscribers direct access to the streaming video service through their set-top cable boxes, rather than having to use a third party device like a gaming console. But that seems to have come to a crashing halt now that Comcast has agreed to buy TWC for $45 billion.
Bloomberg reports that the TWC/Netflix chats have been put off pending the cable company’s sale to the bigger company (or the merger’s doom in the regulatory Great Pit of Carkoon).
Comcast has also been discussing the set-top box arrangement with Netflix but only casually, as the Kabletown Krew is more focused on convincing customers to get streaming video from Comcast than from the one company most directly associated with the cord-cutting phenomenon.
While Bloomberg states that a TWC/Netflix deal would have put pressure on other cable providers to do so, we hesitate to agree, as there is virtually no competition between terrestrial cable companies for customers.
For example, had Netflix been able to get an app on the millions of TWC set-top boxes in the New York City metro area, it’s not like those of us in Comcast country could switch providers to get the more attractive service.
What would have been interesting is to see if having easier access to Netflix would have done anything to stop the bleeding at TWC, which lost a significant number of customers last year in the wake of its ill-advised squabble with CBS.