Friday, March 09, 2012

Comcast says no to adding Netflix

Cable giant Comcast said it won't add video streaming from Netflix to its Xfinity lineup, a potential hitch in Netflix's plan to partner with national cable providers.

From New York Times:

Comcast Declines to Offer Netflix to Its Customers

Netflix may have hit a snag as it negotiates with cable operators.

Comcast, the country’s largest cable company, says it has no interest in offering Netflix to its Xfinity subscribers regardless of whether it’s in the form of an on-demand service or a billing partnership.

“We have no plans to offer access to Netflix to our customers through our Xfinity TV service, no matter what device,” the trade publication Fierce Cable quoted a Comcast spokeswoman, Alana Davis, as saying on Wednesday.

Reuters first reported on Wednesday that Netflix had reached out to major cable companies to discuss joining forces. But without Comcast, the reach of those partnerships would be limited.

Previously seen as a threat to cable companies, Netflix is now becoming more like a premium cable channel. A deal with the cable companies could make the service available as part of the monthly cable bill and help Netflix instantly increase its subscriber base.

But Comcast already offers its 22.3 million Xfinity subscribers a Netflix-like streaming service in Streampix, a recently launched offering that lets customers stream 75,000 television shows and movies on multiple devices in and outside the home.

The service starts at $4.99 a month. It is also available as part of some high-end cable packages. Netflix’s streaming starts at $7.99 a month.

Comcast’s satellite and phone company competitors have also launched Netflix-like services, which could lessen the appeal of a partnership with Netflix, which is based in Los Gatos, Calif., according to media analysts.

Dish Network and Blockbuster have a Web streaming service in the works. Verizon, the parent company of the Verizon FiOS fiberoptic network, has teamed up with Redbox on a Web streaming joint venture.

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