While rumors have been circulating that Redbox was courting Verizon to help get their streaming service off the ground, it looks like the massive broadband/telecommunications company may be more interested in little red envelopes instead. Verizon is rumored to be considering a serious bid for Netflix, whose stock has suffered in recent months after the Qwikster debacle and a large subscriber exodus. Expected to potentially go for over $4 billion dollars, Netflix would give Verizon an instant platform for online video, as well as a new service to bundle with FIOS.
On the flipside, Netflix subscribers could enjoy increased and faster access to cable programming, potentially even the holy grain of HBO’s original content library. Either way, it’s pretty clear they need to do something, because with Hulu remaining with Comcast, and Blockbuster’s streaming now tied to DirecTV, a cable partner appears to be becoming more and more crucial to ensure proper support, content acquisition, and guard against future unfortunate defeats of net neutrality laws. It’s likely that Verizon isn’t the only camp interested in the service; Amazon has rumbled around them in the past, and with a name as big as Netflix, any sale or merger is going to have big bucks, and big players not going down without a fight.