Will Netflix become the next network? It's always possible

From the take this with a grain of salt department, the New York Post this week reported that Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) wants to become the "fifth network," joining ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. But Netflix (add another grain of salt here) says that's just not the case, and insists "it's not the company's core competency and it won't be doing that."

The Post, meanwhile, quotes Hollywood insiders, including agents and a "TV drama executive" in its report, and says Netflix told it "We're always interested in adding more content."

On that note, it also reports that Scripps Networks is negotiating with Netflix to stream its HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel programming.

All Things Digital's Peter Kafka interviewed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings last week, which probably fanned the flames of the "Netfix want to be a network" rumors, as Hastings told Kafka that he might look to "save" shows that have a small, committed audience but that are likely to get cancelled.

"Friday Night Lights wasn't going to get continued two seasons ago on NBC, and DirecTV did a deal to extend that show," he said. "So we can see ourselves doing something like that-extending a season of something that was doing well on Netflix."

Netflix this week did publicly announce it had closed a multiyear deal with Miramax that will allow it to stream several hundred older Miramax titles. The deal was substantial enough that Miramax, which last year was acquired by an investor group for $660 million from Disney, said it "basically sees a path to paying off our investors."

The titles Netflix will have access to include Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, Pulp Fiction and a number of others that have earned Academy Award nominations.

For more:
- see this Post story
- see this Bloomberg story

Related articles:
Report says Netflix working with Facebook on integration
Study: Netflix makes up nearly one third of downstream Internet traffic
Netflix and its up - and down - month of March

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