Discussions between Time Warner Cable and Netflix about adding access to Netflix’s streaming video service have apparently slowed, according to a Bloomberg report.
The potential agreement would have added a Netflix application to TWC’s set-top cable boxes, and may even included an option for customers to pay their monthly Netflix fees on their cable bills. As VentureBeat previously reported, such a move could possibly renew interest in cable subscriptions for people who haven’t yet discovered Netflix, while Netflix could hopefully pull in new subscribers that are used to paying upwards of $15 per month for a bundle of premium movie channels like HBO.
The discussions are off the table due to the recent merger announcement that will see Comcast, the country’s largest cable provider, purchase TWC for $45.2 billion in stock.
And while Netflix is also in discussions to add a Netflix app to its own X1 cable box, there’s apparently no rush. Part of that probably has to do with Comcast’s new push to sell digital movies and TV episodes via a new streaming service — much in the same way people purchase digital versions of movies through Amazon. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Comcast is in no hurry to cannibalize this part of its business, making a Netflix cable box app all the more unlikely to happen in the near future.
My guess is all potentially exciting deals TWC was attempting to make are also on hold. That includes any deal the cable operator may have been planning with Apple. Previously, rumors indicated that Apple would allow people to hook up a new version of its Apple TV set-top box to replace TWC’s crappy cable boxes.