Netflix as always said it sees itself competing more with HBO than other streaming video services, and now it’s moving in on HBO’s turf: cable TV boxes.
The company announced yesterday that it has reached a deal to make a Netflix app available for those that subscribe to cable TV service from Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN. The catch is that you’ll only be able to access the app through a Tivo DVR box. But being able to access live TV on the same device that has Netflix will be a nice convenience for those who can take advantage of it.
Netflix has previously expressed interest in making its app available through cable boxes issued by cable TV service providers. The company was in talks with Comcast back in October. More recently Netflix made a tentative agreement to make a Netflix app available through Time Warner Cable boxes, but TWC’s merger with Comcast may have put that deal on ice, as VentureBeat previously reported.
As for competing with HBO, Netflix still has far fewer subscribers than the premium TV channel. However, it is ramping up its efforts to produce as much original content as HBO currently does.
Overall, the move to make Netflix available on cable boxes is just the latest example of how streaming services and traditional linear TV are slowly merging together. The latest example of this can be found in the new cable/satellite TV box replacement device from Fan TV, which allows you to easily switch back and forth between live TV and services like Crackle.