Comcast and Netflix have become unlikely business partners, as the cable company has announced plans to bring the popular streaming service to its X1 cable box platform, according to Recode.
The added functionality will make the X1 box similar to many other boxes that allow Netflix streaming. Comcast will install an app on the platform that allows Netflix subscribers to log in and view content through the device. The deal will allow the cable company to stay competitive in the streaming world with companies like Verizon and Dish, both of which currently offer apps for streaming-based video services like Hulu and Netflix.
Cable customers with Netflix subscriptions will be happy to hear the news, as they now won’t have to use third-party devices like Google Chromecast, Roku, or Apple TV to access the company’s video content on their big screen.
“Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies,” said the companies in a statement to Recode, “We have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year. We’ll provide more details at that time.”
The agreement is the biggest deal Netflix has reached thus far with a pay-TV operator, and will likely mean a noticeable uptick in users who had passed over Netflix in favor of more traditional cable packages.
The move marks an interesting shift in the relationship between streaming services and pay-TV providers. Where cable and satellite companies were once fighting tooth and nail to rid the world of Netflix and similar businesses, they have now been forced to embrace them to appease their customer base. In adding Netflix to its portfolio, Comcast puts the streaming company on the same footing as it does for premium cable channels like Showtime, Starz, and HBO.
Though the announcement does not include a date for the planned addition of the Netflix app to Comcast boxes, the change will likely come as an update to the cable company’s devices later this year.