Netflix has already started working with cable companies in Europe, inking a deal with Sweden’s Com Hem to offer its service via the cabler’s Tivo settop box, which launched last week. It has also agreed a similar deal with Liberty Global-owned MSO Virgin Media in the UK.
Over the weekend the Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix is discussing partnerships along the same lines with US cable companies including Comcast and Suddenlink.
The paper said the talks are at an early stage although Netflix executives have already publicly indicated they are open to working with existing pay TV operators in the US.
One potential obstacle to a Netflix-cable deal is the former’s insistence upon partners using its Open Connect technology, which requires operators to allow Netflix to connect servers direct to their networks.
The news comes following calls last week from Liberty Media boss John Malone for cable companeis to join forces to create an OTT service that would jointly buy content and provide a rival to Netflix. The MSO’s streaming service could then be bundled with their other video, broadband and telephony products, the cable mogul said.
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