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Is Netflix Trying Make Its Way Onto Cable TV?

netflix-cableTV streaming service Netflix has become wildly successful over the past year and half. The popular video service had gone through a period where they weren’t attracting as many users as expected, but that quickly changed with a new strategy. Following a trend set by HBO several years ago, Netflix began producing original, Emmy Award-worthy content such as House Of Cards, Orange Is The Black and Arrested Development. Since then Netflix has become a serious threat to traditional TV. However, Netflix is reportedly trying to position itself as a collaborator, rather than a competitor, to the cable companies. As reported by huffingtonpost.com:

“Netflix Inc is in talks with several U.S. cable television companies including Comcast Corp and Suddenlink Communications to make its streaming video service available through their set-top boxes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

“According to the Journal, the negotiations are in the early stages, with no deal expected soon. The report said that one sticking point in the negotiations is that Netflix wants cable companies to adopt special technology designed to improve the quality of its streaming video.”

This deal, of course, would be a no-brainer for Netflix, as it would give the company access to millions of potential new users, but the deal is a lot more tricky for the cable companies. Although the cable companies would like to add a cool new feature and the additional content, the younger generation is notorious for seeking alternatives to cable, so much so that it is often referred to as “cord cutters.” If cable companies embrace Netflix on their receivers, they could be leading customers down that path. According to business week.com:

“Offering Netflix access could be like opening the gates and rolling the horse inside. Customers who spend a few months watching nothing but Netflix through their cable boxes could easily decide to cut out the middleman. But easy Netflix access might also keep people who are more lazy than they are frugal happy for a long time. Increasingly, cable companies also see the potential in charging people incrementally for how much they use the Internet, so encouraging heavy Netflix use may be in their best interests in the long run.”

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next couple of months.

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