Keep your friends, close, but your enemies closer – that might be the mantra running through the heads of cable execs at Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN, U.S. regional cable providers who are the first such companies in the U.S. to offer Netflix access bundled with TV service. Subscribers will still have to have their own Netflix accounts, Engadget reports, but now there’s a Netflix app built right into the TiVo DVRs offered by those cable providers mentioned above, with content that lives right alongside broadcast and cable channels.
Netflix has done this before in other markets, but it’s the first time that the streaming video-on-demand service has gotten this cozy with cable providers in the U.S. Of course, cable providers are also often Internet providers, so it makes sense for those companies to want to offer their customers what they want for their connections, and judging by the U.S. streaming video stats, Netflix is definitely high on those lists.
A report by the Wall Street Journal from October of last year suggested Comcast and Suddenlink were in talks to put Netflix on their own TiVo DVRs, which would represent the first major cable provider biting the bullet. At this point, it seems inevitable, it’s probably just a matter of working out terms that are amenable to everyone – and maybe making sure there are as few ruffled feathers as possible among traditional broadcast network providers.