Comcast shoots down possible Netflix partnership


If you’re a Comcast subscriber, don’t expect to find Netflix as part of your cable bundle anytime soon. Following reports that Netflix was in negotiations with cable providers to have its video streaming service offered as an add-on feature in providers’ set-top boxes, Comcast has revealed that it doesn’t plan to strike such a deal.

“We have no plans to offer access to Netflix to our customers through our Xfinity TV service, no matter what device,” Comcast spokeswoman Alana Davis tells FierceCable.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been “quietly” meeting with “some of the largest US cable companies” in an attempt to have Netflix streaming added as an on-demand feature for cable providers. Were such a deal met, it could help Netflix grow its subscriber base, which has waned over the past year due to a slew of public relations follies, including a price hike on customers who receive both streaming and DVD-by-mail services.

The problem with such a plan is that cable companies are in the process of rolling out their own versions of Netflix. Verizon recently announced that it’s teaming up with DVD rental kiosk giant Redbox to offer its own streaming service. Comcast has already begun to roll out its new Streampix service, which includes tens of thousands of TV show episodes and movies to Xfinity cable subscribers for an additional $5 per month. And satellite TV provider Dish Network and Blockbuster (a Dish subsidiary) have their own streaming service in the pipeline.

In short: If Netflix is looking for a boost, it’s not going to find much help from the cable companies, who already see the service as a competitor, not an ally.

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