While Reuters reported Wednesday that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) is pitching cable operators the idea of bundling access to its online video service in cable subscriptions, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) says it isn't interested in teaming up with the online video rival.
"We have no plans to offer access to Netflix to our customers through our Xfinity TV service, no matter what device," Comcast spokeswoman Alana Davis told FierceCable when asked if the MSO would be interested in offering Netflix to subscribers that use a TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) DVR.
Comcast is conducting a trial with TiVo in San Francisco, testing how to allow subscribers that buy a TiVo Premiere DVR to access its Xfinity On Demand library without using a separate cable set-top. While TiVo makes it easy for Premiere owners to watch TV shows and movies from Netflix, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and other online video content through the set-top, Comcast won't bundle Netflix in its subscriptions.
Reuters reported Wednesday that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has "quietly met with some of the largest U.S. cable companies in recent weeks" to pitch the idea of bundling its streaming video service in cable subscriptions. That's a strategy that could help Netflix grow its subscriber base and appeal to some cable subscribers that aren't satisfied with the thousands of TV series and movies already available in cable VOD platforms.
But Comcast recently launched a Streampix subscription video service that competes with Netflix by allowing Xfinity subscribers to access TV series and movies on the Web and mobile devices.
Other cable MSOs are beginning to integrate Netflix listings in their online video portals, but no cable company has an agreement with Netflix to bundle its online video product in cable subscriptions. Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR), which also plans to market TiVo DVRs to its subscribers, already offers subscribers easy access to Netflix content through its Charter.net portal.
TiVo CEO Tom Rogers was one of the first media executives to suggest that cable MSOs offer subscribers access to Netflix and other over-the-top video. "Maybe that streaming content gets encompassed in your operator's subscription going forward," Rogers said at an advertising conference last October.
- Reuters has this story
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