Netflix Could Be Integrating With Cable TV Set-Top Boxes

The streaming media company is reportedly in early-stage talks with several cable providers to bring a Netflix app to set-top boxes.

Netflix Could Be Integrating With Cable TV Set-Top Boxes
[Image: Flickr user jennypdx]

Netflix isn’t known for having a buddy-buddy relationship with U.S. cable providers, and yet the streaming media company was recently reported to be in early-stage talks with providers like Comcast and Suddenlink to bring a Netflix app to those companies’ set-top boxes, according to the Wall Street Journal. Such an integration would put Netflix’s content side alongside the cable companies’ live channels and its own on-demand content, a first for any U.S. provider. It would be similar to the recent deal Netflix struck with Virgin Media to bring a cable-and-Netflix bundle to TiVo owners in the U.K.

Netflix currently offers streaming to televisions, but viewers must either have a Internet-connected TV, a streaming-enabled device like the Roku box, or a game console like the PlayStation 3. A cable integration would provide an obvious advantage to Netflix by providing it with more exposure (and thus more subscriptions). The advantage to cable providers is less definitive–giving bored channel-flippers front-and-center access to Netflix may result in those customers getting rid of their cable service altogether.

About the author

Christina is an associate editor at Fast Company, where she writes about technology, social media, and business.



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