Netflix is reportedly in talks with various cable-TV providers to make their video service app available on set-top boxes. WSJ reported that Netflix and cable-TV providers are exploring partnership options that may allow users to access the video service app directly from a set-top box, rather than doing so from external devices.
Netflix users currently are limited to using Smart TV’s or other devices such as game consoles to access the app, but the company hopes a deal with cable-TV providers may soon change that. Although the possible partnership may be beneficial to customers the main limitation is that many cable-TV providers view Netflix as a direct competitor. Netflix’s movie and TV offerings could potentially steer attention away from cable-TV provider’s on-demand offerings.
However, as some experts have noted the partnership may in fact be beneficial to both parties involved. The added Netflix app would provide an additional incentive to users who are looking for a ‘one-stop’ shop for all their on-demand programming. The addition may also help increase sales of faster broadband connections that would be needed to stream videos at high quality resolution.
As Netflix CFO David Wells stated, it is up to cable-TV providers “to decide how much of a competitor they view us [Netflix] as or a complement.” The company is still in talks with various companies and while no cable-TV provider has stepped up with a definitive offer, the discussion could tilt in Netflix’s favor. Netflix has just landed its first big studio show with Sony Pictures Television. Sony announced that it will produce a psychological thriller for Netflix and will originate from the creators of the FX legal drama, Damages. The company stated that the new show would span 13 episodes being released right away.
Netflix could benefit greatly from this announcement, but it remains to be seen if cable-TV providers are willing to build a partnership with the company.