Cable TV operators in talks with Netflix about STB app

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Netflix is in preliminary talks with pay TV operators such as Comcast and Suddenlink Communications about putting a Netflix app on their subscribers’ STBs.
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Netflix and pay TV service providers reportedly are discussing a way to make the OTT movie and TV streaming service available to the public as an STB app.

The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 14 that Comcast and Suddenlink Communications are among the pay TV services in talks with Netflix.

To date, several pay TV services have deployed new services, most notably TV Everywhere apps, as a way to defend their businesses from the loss of customers who decide to “cut the cord” and subscribe to OTT services such as Netflix.

According to the report, the talks are in their beginning stages and no deal is expected anytime soon. One impediment to such deals is the desire of Netflix that pay TV operators include special technology in the STBs to make the video streaming experience better, the Wall Street Journal article reported. Another is concern on the part of pay TV operators that the app would give Netflix a path in to their subscribers to sell on-demand content that competes with pay TV offerings, it said.

Netflix has reached a similar deal with Virgin Media, a cable operator in the UK.