A Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) app, long shunned by pay-TV operators, will be available for some Virgin Media subscribers in the U.K. on their operator-leased TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) boxes, the companies said.
"It's the first time Netflix has ever been added to an operator box," a spokesman for TiVo told Bloomberg. "It's a big deal, especially if it helps open the gates for operators globally to integrate and stream over-the-top content."
Initially the app will be available to about 40,000 Virgin Media subscribers who also lease TiVo boxes from the company. Later this year, the companies plan to make the app available to all Virgin Media TiVo customers, they said.
Subscribers will still need a Netflix subscription to use the app. Members can sign in with their existing credentials and new customers will be able to sign up through it, a press release from Virgin Media said.
It makes sense for pay-TV operators to let over-the-top services onto their devices, Cesar Bachelet, a senior analyst at Analysis Mason, said. Such partnerships "bring new types of content to their subscribers while preserving their central role in the provision of video services to the home," Bachelet said.
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