Liberty Global's (Nasdaq: LBTYA) Virgin Media is making Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) an app on its TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) platform, effectively making the over-the-top content provider a part of its set-top based pay TV service rather than a competitor.
According to a corporate press release, 40,000 pilot subscribers will get access to the service in the Virgin Media games and apps section this week. Netflix members--and membership is required to get access--will be able to use their credentials to access the content and new Netflix members will be enrolled. The app will be available to 1.7 million Virgin Media TiVo households by the end of this year, the carrier said.
Netflix "complements Virgin Media's ever-expanding collection of over 6,000 hours of on demand entertainment," the press release said.
It also "coincides with the latest updates to Virgin Media TiVo," the press release said. Virgin Media customers will now be able to "make full use of their superfast 30 Mb, 60 Mb or 120 Mb broadband speeds in addition to the dedicated TiVo connection."
Including TiVo as part of a traditional pay TV service is something that has been discussed as set-top boxes increasingly included IP capability, but, until now, never accomplished.
"Netflix is a fabulous addition to Virgin Media TiVo, enabling our customers to enjoy even more of their favorite shows and movies simply and easily--all through their TV set-top box and at outstanding value," Dana Strong, Virgin Media's COO said in the press release. "Virgin Media TiVo offers different ways to watch, either subscription or pay-per-view, all seamlessly integrated for simple, intuitive viewing so there's a world of great entertainment at your fingertips and everyone can be sure of the perfect TV moment."
The move is just another indication that Netflix has been a welcome addition to the U.K. video entertainment space, said Bill Holmes, global head of business development for the OTT provider.
- Virgin Media issued this press release
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