Netflix CEO Reed Hastings downplayed the impact on fourth-quarter subscriber growth delivered by Comcast’s integration of his SVOD service into its X1 video platform.
“All the partnership deals we really believe in, you can see, that’s why we’re doing more of them. But you can see we had big outperformance in international and in domestic, so it wasn’t just a Comcast story, in which case it would have been domestic only,” Hastings said during Netflix fourth-quarter earnings call with investors Wednesday.
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Netflix added 1.93 million subscribers in the U.S. in the fourth quarter and 7 million worldwide. Comcast integrated the SVOD service to be a native component of X1 in mid-November. Around half of Comcast’s 22 million video customers have the X1 platform.
Hastings added that Netflix integration like the deals that have been done with Comcast and Dish Network aren’t as easy with other providers because some set-tops aren’t as advanced.
“Not all MSOs in the U.S. have such advanced [set-top boxes], so they can’t do internet apps and Netflix,” he said.
Despite Hastings’ decided lack of enthusiasm for traditional MVPDs Wednesday, Netflix has aggressively pursued such integration deals to grow its domestic subscriber base. For his part, Charter Communications Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge said several times last year that the MSO is interested in signing integration deals with Netflix and Hulu.
However, a Charter rep told FierceCable last week that he was unaware of any such deal with Netflix being close.
— Additional reporting by Ben Munson