To a lot of people, Netflix is seen as the anti-cable. It’s one of the services that is widely believed to be a determining factor before cable customers decide to cut the cord. Netflix has stood out by making itself available on many different platforms and is even striking some exclusive and original content deals while cable companies look on. It turns out Netflix’s relationship with cable companies may not be as combative as it appears. Reuters is reporting that Netflix could be offered by a cable company sometime this year.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has apparently been having meetings with cable companies to discuss the possibility of Netflix being bundled with cable services. Customers would be charged a little extra for Netflix’s streaming services. By joining forces with cable companies, Netflix has a much better opportunity to take on HBO in the years to come.
Netflix’s executives are very concerned about HBO and the concept of TV Everywhere. Below is an excerpt from Netflix’s letter to shareholders in January 2012.
“As we’ve often said, we see the biggest long term threat as TV Everywhere, and in particular, HBO GO, the leading implementation of TV Everywhere to date. HBO has some great content, particularly their original series, but today for most people it is locked behind a linear interface, or at best, behind a DVR
interface and in all cases tethered to a linear subscription plan. As HBO GO grows and becomes the primary way that consumers experience HBO, it will become a much more effective competitor for viewing time.”
Netflix will also have to compete with Verizon and Redbox‘s streaming video initiative when it takes form this year. Like it or not, Netflix’s main goal is to stay in business in an increasingly competitive space. It’s only natural for Netflix to seek out allies; even if those allies come from unlikely places.