Report: Netflix Wants To Piggyback On Cable Services

If reported deals between Netflix and cable giants go through, the company’s streaming service will be offered as a bonus to cable packages. Netflix is said to be negotiating with several cable companies to add its service as a possible premium on-demand option.

According to Reuters, the step is another advancement in what analysts perceive to be Netflix’s master plan to compete against the likes of HBO. One possibility in a Netflix-cable partnership would let viewers add Netflix to their cable packages as they would a premium channel, paying extra to access Netflix’s streaming offerings through their cable boxes.

It makes me wince a little to hear about Netflix teaming up with cable companies, because the service has potential to grow into something that can rival and even replace cable. But something like this could work out for customers who subscribe to both cable and Netflix, as long as cable companies offered Netflix access at a discount.

Exclusive: Netflix in talks for cable partnership [Reuters via Engadget]


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  1. rlmiller007 says:

    Bad Netflix. Bad. They should stay seperated from cable.

    • sirwired says:

      Netflix already pays affiliates who obtain Netflix signups. The cable company is just another affiliate. They may get a slightly higher cut in return for supplying billing services, but other than that, I don’t see the arrangement as that interesting.

    • BobOki says:

      Wrong direction, yes, please allow yourself to be added (not part of ) cable services. That will GARUNTEE we will get good throughput for netflix from cable companies and maybe netflix can get some HD.

  2. menty666 says:

    More than likely they’d double or triple the cost of netflix instead so they can get their cut and netflix doesn’t lose any money.

    This really doesn’t make much sense since a lot of people to go netflix *because* they’re cutting back on cable services.

    Not to mention, the cable companies can’t do a la carte services, right? Otherwise we’d be able to pick a slate of channels (cable companies hate logic like that). So of course the only way for me to get netflix through my cable company would be to get it with a bundle of premium channels like HBO, which they’ll wind up doing because otherwise HBO will threaten to pull it’s programming.

    I cut way back on cable services years ago when my bill passed 100.00 a month for just the first two tier levels (basic and stuff like Discovery, TLC). So I don’t even *have* a cable box. However for about 50.00 I can get a Roku box that I own and *can* get netflix on it as well as pandora, youtube, and for a smaller premium, hulu.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      unfortunately new roku users can’t currently add youtube to the roku. if you have a roku with youtube on it, don’t delete the channel because you can’t add it back.
      as of today i know of 643 working roku channels. why would i need cable? i’m not a sports fan and it’s completely worth it to me to wait for things to turn up on netflix or hulu plus

  3. JMH says:

    As long as most of us get our Internet from cable companies, Netflix will never be able to replace them.

    • kc2idf says:

      Ding! This is exactly what I was thinking.

      Where I am, my broadband options are Time-Warner (cable), Verizon FiOS (effectively also cable), and the various wireless and satellite carriers (who are not feasible for streaming video despite how they advertise). So, what do you do? You get internet service from the cable company that also does telephones, or from the phone company that also does cable.

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Couldn’t this negotiation end up with Neflix being limited by the cable company. For instance, not having shows from premium cable channels (like HBO or Showtime) available to stream, in order to drive people to subscribe to those channels?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Not really. In HBO’s case, HBO already refused to play nice with Netflix and that’s why HBO shows aren’t on Netflix streaming anymore. Netflix negotiates with the studios for the content; Netflix will never restrict subscriptions to only cable subscribers, so it has to negotiate content licenses with the studios.

  5. MonkeyMonk says:

    One more in a long line of bad recent decisions from Netflix.

    Why the board hasn’t ousted Reed Hastings at this point is anyone’s guess … unless it’s the board dictating these lousy decisions.

  6. shalegac says:

    For as much as I loathe the cable companies, it would be a bonus if this ran through their fiber (or coax) and not over the internet, providing for a better quality stream and bypass internet usage.

  7. sirwired says:

    Firstly, I don’t see how it matters who is billing you for the service, either Netflix or your cable provider.

    Also, this is a natural extension of what the large streaming and web-content services do already: store the data on caching appliances on your ISP’s premises. Much of what you watch on NetFlix is already delivered not from some NetFlix server farm in California, but off of a server right there in your ISP’s data center. (It saves Netflix and the ISP on backbone bandwidth, reduces latency, makes the end customer happier with both their ISP and NetFlix; a true win-win-win situation.)

  8. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Does anyone else feel like Netflix lost lots of it’s luster?

    Both in actual appeal (the content) as well as just the value of the name?

    With original content like Lillyhammer, the early release of The Artist (compaired to cable), and that the new season of Arrested Development will be Netflix exclusive, I am excited about what the future will hold…but I wish it held more new release movies.

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Good luck ever again seeing any HBO, Showtime, or Starz on Netflix if they become a direct competitor. We see past seasons now, but once they become the fourth big premium option, their competitors will never again allow their material to be there.

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      There’s never been HBO on Netflix streaming — past or current — and there never will be. HBO has already been vocal on that front year’s ago.

      Did the recent Starz expiration affect their TV series?

  10. Bionic Data Drop says:

    After the typical cable company markup, Netflix would be about $50/mo. No thanks.

  11. foodfeed says:

    In other words, abandon ship?

  12. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I’m sure this will end well.

    I’m basically happy with Netflix, and I’m looking at home phone alternatives now, like Magic Jack or Google Voice. I just want an internet connection. I can get 95% of the content I want through just the internet connection, my Roku box, and Netflix.

    I DON’T WANT THEM GETTING MIXED UP WITH COMCAST! Yes, I’m yelling! It’s bad enough I have to use them as my internet provider. I foresee Netflix content not being available to me if I just have internet and I’m not subscribed to cable TV too.

  13. Cat says:

    I thought I warned little Netflix not to hang around with that slutty Comcast.

  14. Cat says:

    Netflix, do you know who you’re getting involved with? People the likes of this:

  15. Cosmo_Kramer says:

    If they’re doing this so they can place streaming servers closer to the destination, this could substantially reduce their content delivery costs (to nothing basically).

  16. dicobalt says:

    This is a technique called embrace and extinguish. Netflix will embrace cable companies, make tons of money, then at some point they will break off their agreement and betray the cable companies and take their customers. Classic corporate strategy. Cable companies aren’t very smart though so they will fall for it.

  17. CubeRat says:

    This would be the only way I would consider doing business with netsh*t.

  18. dreamking says:

    I really don’t get the logic behind this. Half the stuff they stream (more now that they’re moving in the direction of more TV content) is already on the cable service at one point or another. The on-demand functionality, yeah, that’s fine enough. But that’s a reason for TW or Comcast to buy Netflix, not for them to be on the platform that the cable companies control. It’d be nice if someone could make sense of this.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      What do you mean the streaming content is already on the cable service? Maybe it was on cable at some point, but I’m not sitting around to wait for Syfy to rerun the first season of Deep Space Nine. Every season is on Netflix. I’m behind on Sons of Anarchy. I can’t wait for FX to rerun it (it won’t, at least not until right before the new season premieres). Meanwhile, Netflix is streaming it. Just because it has been on cable at some point doesn’t mean it will be on cable again, and certainly not right now when you want to watch it.

  19. Daggertrout says:

    I do kinda wish there was a Netflix app for cable boxes. Though my main TV currently has 4 Netflix capable devices hooked up to it (not including the TV itself). It would be nice to be able to access it on other TVs in the house.

    But I do have a Roku in the mail from Woot!, so that may be a moot point now.

  20. ScottG says:

    So this brings up another question… If your cable company offers Netflix as a “premium” service, AND you also get your internet service through the same company, would the cable company then try to block your access to Netflix because they now offer the service (for a price – probably more than it would cost you) and your accessing it directly would be in direct competition?

    A bit of a scarey thought, but I can see it happening – at least for the cable companies to attempt it.

  21. Tacojelly says:

    I don’t like the sound of this. You’re winning Netflix, just stick it out a little longer and cable will die.

    I just got cable (my wife wanted it) and I was surfing through on-demand stuff and it’s clear that they’ve had to offer more services and better themselves to try and compete with Netflix… but they still aren’t as good.

    If anything this sounds like more butthurt coming from cable companies about how they can’t afford the extra bandwidth

  22. FrugalFreak says:

    don’t give cable your power netflix, don’t let them become more controlling.