Making their first extensive comments about the upcoming integration of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) into the X1 platform, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) executives assured investors that the deal is accretive on both sides, and that their once-strained relationship with the SVOD service is now strong.
"The fact of the matter is something like 40 percent of the people in America have Netflix now," said Steve Burke, CEO of Comcast's NBCUniversal unit. "It's obviously an extremely successful service and people are watching a lot on Netflix."
To Burke's thinking, any bad viewing habits that might be fostered by watching Netflix have already been picked up by Comcast's user base.
"Whatever Netflix is doing to viewing habits, I think a lot of that is already done," Burke added.
Speaking alongside Burke during Comcast's second-quarter earnings teleconference Wednesday, Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit said the Netflix deal gives Comcast "the ability to be an aggregator of aggregators."
"We had tossed around the decision for a while, but really it came down to what's best for the customer as we get very customer-experience-focused on making sure we had critical mass in X1," Smit said.
Asked if NBCU is being more careful in terms of how it pursues program licensing deals with Netflix, he said the relationship between NBCU and the SVOD service "has never been better."
"They're a huge purchaser of our content," he added. "We talk to them all the time. So my prediction is it'll be quite a good thing for Comcast Cable and it'll be a good thing for NBCUniversal."
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