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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 12, 2012

Comcast Not Into Netflix Partnership

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

Netflix’s attempts to get into cable have officially been squashed by the big cable players.

SNL Kagan reports that Comcast (News - Alert), DirecTV and Dish Network have all rejected Netflix's overtures because they don't think the company's offerings would significantly add to their on-demand libraries. Collectively, the three companies reach 56 percent of the pay TV audience.

Reuters (News - Alert) reported that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has met with some of the “largest U.S. cable companies in recent weeks.” The focus of the conversations is to add Netflix as a Video on Demand streaming option for cable viewers. And Reuters adds that one cable operator could launch a Netflix trial by year's end.

Comcast, which has more than 22 million video subscribers, tells the industry trade publication Fierce Cable that it has no plans to partner with Netflix.

“We have no plans to offer access to Netflix to our customers through our Xfinity TV service, not matter what device,” said spokeswoman Alana Davis.

The FierceCable report emerged after sources told Reuters that Netflix and some of the largest cable operators have been in talks that could lead to Netflix becoming available as an on-demand option for cable companies via their set-top boxes.

Comcast just introduced its own streaming video service called Streampix that grants customers an option to watch old TV shows and movies on multiple screens, including TVs and mobile devices.

Streampix will be included free of charge to some triple play bundles. Comcast says they've struck content distribution deals with Disney (News - Alert)-ABC, Comcast-owned NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and Cookie Jar. A lot of the content that's being made available is the same you'll find on standalone services like Netflix and Hulu (News - Alert), including past episodes of NBC's 30 Rock, Heroes and The Office.

“Our goal is to consistently deliver greater value to our customers and to bring the best anytime, anywhere entertainment on multiple platforms,” Comcast says of their latest anti-cord cutting endeavor.

“Streampix is another step moving ‘TV Everywhere' forward by giving customers access to an even greater library of popular choices to watch,” Comcast's blog states.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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