Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) would like to strike significant deals with major cable companies in 2015, according to a report from GigaOM’s Janko Roettgers. CEO Reed Hastings has always wanted to get their content onto major set-top boxes.
Cable companies view Netflix as a threat
A job posting from Netflix earlier this year provided a clue about the plans, as it included the following description: “After having Netflix integrated on every relevant TV, Blu-Ray Player, Streaming Box, and Streaming Stick our new frontier is now cable boxes.”
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Some small players such as RCN and Suddenlink have readily entered into partnership agreements, but the bigger companies are still testing the waters. These companies perceive Netflix as their competitor, and hence, they do not want to give any additional attention to the online streaming service company. Global companies such as Virgin Media and Swedish cable operator Com Hemare are not worried about Netflix hogging all the limelight, however, so they have been entering into mutual deals for more than a year.
According to Roettgers, the online streaming company is eying deals with five big operators; AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) and Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR). Roettgers, also said that the only company among these showing interest is AT&T.
Is Netflix partnering with AT&T?
Citing one of its sources, Roettgers said one of the companies is nearing a deal, and the announcement may come as early as next year. However, other sources claimed any such deal will not be announced until much later. AT&T was prominent during the conversation, but there is a possibility of deals with other companies as well.
Netflix set-top box plan will not be hassle-free, as there are many hurdles, such as the company’s stance on usage caps, net neutrality and interconnection. AT&T is the fifth biggest TV service operator with around six million subscribers. Comcast is much bigger, having more than 22 million TV subscribers. Teaming up with AT&T will be more beneficial for Netflix, as the carrier uses Ericsson’s Mediaroom set-top boxes, which are also used by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom for its Entertain pay-TV service.
In past, there have been some promos by companies talking about Netflix, but no long term partnerships should be expected as of now. These companies are not supporting Netflix, as none of them wants to share their viewers with the streaming company.