Skip to main content

Comcast/Netlfix spat gets scrappier, as Comcast blames Netflix for video quality woes

comcast fires back against netflixs poor viewability claims time warner merger
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Comcast responded yesterday via blog post to Netflix’s recent attacks on the cable giant. Netflix claims Comcast is directly responsible for its users’ slow streaming rates and poor video quality over a Comcast connection, even after Netflix’s paying off Comcast two months ago in exchange for higher speeds and quality. The senior vice president of Corporate and Digital Communications for Comcast, Jennifer Khoury, asserted in yesterday’s blog post that “it was not Comcast that was creating viewability issues for Netflix customers, it was Netflix’s commercial transit decisions that created these issues.” She went on to stress that Comcast has been the strongest supporter of the Open Internet among all Internet service providers.

This rebuttal comes after a series of back-and-forth snipes between the two companies. Earlier this week Netflix released its quarterly earnings report, and included within that report was a letter to shareholders that condemned the Comcast-Time Warner merger for its potential to allow the monopolistic ISP to increasingly “capture unprecedented fees from transit providers and services such as Netflix.” Comcast fired back that same day on its blog with a laundry list of reasons explaining why “Netflix’s opposition to our Time Warner Cable transaction is based on inaccurate claims and arguments.”

In yesterday’s riposte, Comcast’s Khoury pointed to the ISP’s “multiplicity of other agreements” that have not harmed customers or increased costs for content providers. In fact, Khoury claims, the agreements have decreased the costs those providers would have paid to others. Khoury cites a story from StreamingMediaBlog.com in defense of her claim that Netflix itself is actually behind the poor playback and technical issues plaguing the service: “… at least one independent commentator has pointed out” that Netflix’s commercial transit decisions are really to blame. The writer points out that Netflix has unjustifiably pushed a majority of its traffic through a single transit provider – Cogent – despite the fact that the service technically buys transit from multiple providers. In other words, the assertion is that Netflix has been trying to cram most of its streaming content through just one big pipe, rather than split it up among several pipes, even though it has agreements in place to do so. 

The ongoing Netflix/Comcast saga is a messy one to pick apart, and it’s hard to pin down the blame solely on one party or the other. It seems the only certainty is that this battle isn’t over yet, and that neither side intends to back down.

Alex Tretbar
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Alex Tretbar, audio/video intern, is a writer, editor, musician, gamer and sci-fi nerd raised on EverQuest and Magic: The…
Sonos Sub Mini vs. Sonos Sub: Which boom should you buy?
Sonos Sub Mini in front of a sofa.

Sonos is a well-respected brand in the home and portable audio markets. It is known for it's range of Wi-Fi-connected speakers, soundbars, amplifiers, and, the topic of this article, subwoofers.

In 2012, Sonos introduced its first subwoofer -- the Sonos Sub. Its unique design set it apart from other subwoofers, and since then, two more generations of the Sub have been released. The latest version, Gen 3, has a glossy finish instead of a matte finish like the previous models. While the Sonos Sub is great, its price tag of $799 and weight of over 35 pounds may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who want a powerful bass without spending so much.

Read more
YouTube TV just added a huge new add-on for $15 a month
Zee Family on YouTube TV.

Zee Family is now available on YouTube TV for $15 a month. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

YouTube TV is still limited to the U.S., but it just brought a big piece of the world to the streaming service. The Zee Family add-on brings a number of channels from a range of Indian dialects to the service. It costs $15 a month and has a free seven-day trial.

Read more
Kanto’s new Ren active speakers with HDMI take aim at your TV room
The front of the Kanto Audio REN powered speaker.

The Canucks at Kanto Audio are at it again, announcing the addition of another new set of powered speakers to its lineup. The Kanto Ren are a 100-watt pair of active speakers that, in a first for the company, offer HDMI ARC connectivity.

After unleashing its new Ora Desktop reference speakers a few months back and then announcing their cousin, the Ora4, at CES 2024 last month, the Canadian speaker maker has set its sights on TV connectivity with the Ren, a $600 set of compact powered speakers that can be connected to your TV with HDMI ARC and be controlled with an included remote or with your TV's remote, with the help of CEC. The new connectivity makes the Kanto REN an intriguing soundbar alternative.

Read more