Oct. 14 - Netflix could become frenemies with several cable companies as it looks to get the streaming service into set-top boxes, according to the Wall Street Journal. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Netflix is looking for new friends, so it can visit you in new ways in your living room. The streaming media service is in talks with several cable TV operators, including Comcast and Suddenlink to make its service available through set-top boxes; this according to the Wall Street Journal. Netflix wouldn't actually be a channel on the set-top box, but rather an app accessible through high-speed Internet service cable companies now offer. If a deal was reached with Comcast, for example, Netflix would have access to Comcast's 52 million high-speed Internet customers. So what would cable get? The cable companies could use Netflix as a work around when fighting with TV and cable channels over carriage fees. In the case of a channel black-out, Netflix could direct customers to use the Netflix app to still watch their favorite shows. So far the talks are early, according to the report and could break down. Cable companies are wary of Netflix as a much cheaper alternative to cable TV. The other problem - Netflix is insisting any deal include new technology that will make its videos look better. Netflix, Comcast and Suddenlink were not free for comment. Europe may be the test case. Netflix has already made deals to stream its video to European cable customers via TiVo set-top boxes.