Netflix Wants to Join the Cable Bundle (Having More Success with it Internationally)
Netflix is already available on your television screen (if you have a streaming video player, or connected gaming console, or a “smart” TV). But what it really wants is to be available on your television screen through your cable provider.
In the US, that is much easier said than done. Internationally, though, that’s another story. After announcing a deal with Virgin Media earlier this month to bring its subscription service to Virgin’s TiVo platform, Netflix is now doing the same thing with Com Hem, a cable provider in Sweden. Similar to the Virgin deal, a Netflix app will arrive on Com Hem’s TiVo service this December, allowing viewers to watch the service’s library of original and licensed programming. What makes the Netflix/Virgin deal interesting is that Virgin TiVo will be able to search for live-TV and Netflix’s on-demand content simultaneously, which essentially makes the streaming service essentially a part of Virgin’s cable bundle. It’s unclear if Com Hem’s TiVo service will offer a similar capability.
But that’s what Netflix wants. It wants you think of it as another programmer of high-quality television — another HBO.
Speaking at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia (seriously?) conference in New York, Netflix CFO David Wells said Netflix is interested in striking similar deals with US-based pay-TV providers. Per Variety, Wells said: “It’s up to the MVPDs to decide how much of a competitor we are or a complement.”
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has gone on record in the past about Netflix wanting to join the cable bundle, feeling it’s a natural extension of where the TV industry is going. Of course, as a “frenemy” of TV programmers, that might not happen for a while. Though there is a certain sense of inevitability to it.Tags: cable TV, Com Hem, David Wells, Goldman Sachs, hbo, Netflix, Reed Hastings, tivo, virgin media