Netflix becomes part of BT cable bundle in the U.K.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) has crossed a threshold in the United Kingdom that it has been unable to surpass in the United States, with telco giant BT now bundling in the SVOD programmer as part of the regular pay-TV service it offers to subscribers.

Just as U.S. pay-TV operators such as Verizon (NYSE: VZ) are doing, BT is offering the Netflix service as a promotional offer to entice new customers. For the first six months, subscribers pay only $9.50 (American) for pay-TV, broadband and Netflix.

As GigaOm notes, differentiating BT's offer is that the SVOD service's bill is being bundled into BT's overall pay-TV bill, much like how U.S. operators account for services such as HBO.

Netflix still controls the customer relationship, meaning subscribers cancel their service directly through the SVOD provider. But the Netflix service is being treated, for all intents and purposes, like a premium cable channel. That's new.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has long sought a relationship with pay-TV operators that mirrors that of premium cable services such as HBO. This is a step in that direction.

For more:
- read this GigaOm story

Related links: Verizon offers free year of Netflix as part of NY triple-play bundle
Hastings addresses HBO competition: 'It's just one more channel'
Netflix stumbles on subscriber growth, keeps revenue in line at $1.41B
Analyst: HBO could add $600M to its bottom line by offering OTT option
Report: Time Warner looking to deploy HBO in more Internet-only packages
HBO ahead on profits for now, but Netflix is better positioned, analyst says

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