Report: Netflix in talks with cable companies

Reuters is reporting that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings has been meeting with executives from cable companies in an effort to have the streaming service added to their channel offerings, adding weight to the comments he made at a conference in San Francisco last week that the company could eventually be "just another network."

Quoting a trio of sources familiar with the talks, Reuters said at least one cable operator could trial a Netflix offering by the end of the year. The sources said Netflix would potentially be delivered through the set-top boxes and have its monthly charge assessed on a cable bill.

At last week's Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Hastings said he thinks the service, which often has been cast as competition to the industry and a lightning rod for cord cutters, will gradually evolve into just another content source. It'll be a supplement to cable's offerings, especially as it provides more original content.

"The more we do original content, the more it is going to be natural to have Discovery Channel, Netflix, watch ESPN, watch HBO," he said. "We're just another network."

Specifically, he said, a network that is likely to compete with Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX) HBO, saying service providers "would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO."

And, he said, while it's not likely to happen in the near term, "it's in the natural direction for us in the long term."

Reuters said Netflix declined to comment on the report, adding that even if a deal were reached, it's likely that Netflix would need to renegotiate content deals to allow it to use cable STBs for delivery to subscribers.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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