Media

Comcast to Netflix: We don’t need no stinkin’ partnership

The largest cable TV and Internet service provider Comcast said it has no interest in partnering with video rental service Netflix, the company told trade publication Fierce Cable yesterday.

It’s hardly surprising that Comcast isn’t interested in an alliance with Netflix. Last month the company launched a new complimentary streaming video service called Streampix, which is available for free to premium customers and $4.99 per month for those with a basic cable package. Streampix is Comcast’s answer to Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” streaming service, and part of the company’s plans to keep current subscribers from cutting the cord.

And with cable and satellite television subscriber rates showing new growth in the fourth quarter of 2011, Netflix is worried that big companies like Dish and AT&T could start hurting its subscriber growth by offering their own streaming video services — complete with access to exclusive original programming from HBO, Starz, and Showtime. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is even rumored to have started discussions with many of the traditional TV providers on a partnership.

Netflix is now trying to position itself as a premium channel that can be bundled together with a monthly cable TV subscription package, much in the same way HBO does. But unlike HBO, Netflix is available to anyone and doesn’t require that you go through a cable or satellite TV provider for access. That makes Netflix far less valuable to companies like Comcast.

Via New York Times