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Netflix Pursues Cable-TV Deals 93

An anonymous reader writes "Netflix is making a push to make its online video service available as an app on set-top boxes. 'A deal would mark the online video service's first such tie-up with a U.S. cable provider and would come after a similar agreement it recently announced with U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. The talks are in early stages and no deal is imminent, the people cautioned. Netflix and U.S. pay-TV companies are rivals in some key respects. Netflix's subscription video offering is an attractive alternative for some consumers who are frustrated with costly cable bills. And both sides want to be the go-to destination for consumers to find on-demand TV programming.'"
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Netflix Pursues Cable-TV Deals

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  • Um... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zippo01 ( 688802 ) on Monday October 14, 2013 @02:10AM (#45118849)
    Most people get cable TV from their internet provider (comcast, centrylink, FIOS, etc). If the the provider starts to loose money on the TV end they will just raise the price for internet.
    • I think they'd rather people get Netflix through their box than say a Roku or even the TV itself. At least then they still get their subs.
  • by FSWKU ( 551325 ) on Monday October 14, 2013 @02:23AM (#45118901)
    At least not on Comcast. The crappy Motorola boxes they use are barely capable of running the 1980's style GUI they have now. Adding in anything more complex than a calculator (and I'm not so sure about that) will cause the damn things to fry themselves. How they manage to decode HD streams has to be some form of witchcraft, because splurging on good MPEG decoders would mean eating into the corporate yacht funds.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The bits are run through a block of wax infused with raven's blood, which accelerates their speed through the Dark Heart processor.

    • No kidding. The boxes Time Warner gives its customers are the purest grade of crap. They can barely handle their own OSD without the damn things overheating and lagging to hell.

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Monday October 14, 2013 @02:32AM (#45118933)

    All this means is if I already have cable I can watch Netflix on my TV without having to own a computer, Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, Smart TV, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, or Android device.

    If I already have cable, I can pick up an Apple TV for about one month's cable bill.

    So who cares?

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Don't forget regular stand-alone blu-ray players, too.
      I'd say the vast majority of people interested in using Netflix already own one of these devices and don't need to have it added to their cable box.

      Maybe that's Netflix's whole game. They're reaching a market saturation and need to find a way to continue that "neverending growth" bullshit Wall Street expects now.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Really? I haven't had cable for years...and can't say I've missed it (or the $70 bill).

  • by rueger ( 210566 ) on Monday October 14, 2013 @04:20AM (#45119261) Homepage
    Don't care about sports. Don't care about seeing "this week's" new episode of some series. Get news off of the 'net.

    At that point cable very quickly becomes pointless. Netflix delivers more than enough great content to fill our idle hours, and costs us roughly $75 a month less. I can't count how many TV series we've plowed through (Currently working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and how we don't care if they were originally broadcast a few years ago.

    In all seriousness, the business model for cable is looking more and more like the business model for the music industry.
    • by flimflammer ( 956759 ) on Monday October 14, 2013 @07:34AM (#45120037)

      So you ask a really dumb question in the subject and then you preface the message by listing basically all the things that people traditionally use the service for as something you don't care about.

      Why do people do that? It's great you have no use for the service but your needs are not the needs of everyone.

      People still use barbers? Don't care about fancy shampoos and conditioners. Don't care about different hairstyles. Cut my own hair in front of the mirror. At that point, barbers very quickly become pointless... etc.

      • If barbers charged comparable amounts of money as a cable tv service, then you'd see a lot of people quite going to barbers. I like the idea of watching sports and news from my own couch, but it's just not worth $60/month to me. Obviously some people do think it's worth it, which is why the cable companies are still alive, but that situation is rapidly changing.

      • Actually, a lot of people I know DON'T care about those things, they've just settled into a pattern where paying for monthly cable/satellite is routine. If anything, most I know keep cable (or at least the extended package) around to have cartoons that keep the kids occupied. Netflix has lots of those, and no commercials to brainwash kids into buying the latest useless thingamajig.

    • People still use cable because they never got rid of it. It's like how people had land lines long after they stopped giving out their landline number, and an ever-increasing number of people have abandoned them. At this point, I think people don't understand they have alternatives, even for keeping up on those four shows a week that they can't miss. The only thing I can't find on Google Play (as an example) that my inlaws (who have cable) "can't miss" other than sports is Mad Men, which they usually just

    • I often joke that my kids are the "On Demand" generation. They watch shows via Netflix or, if from cable, our DVR. They get the shows they want to watch WHEN they want to watch them. Tuning into a channel just to see what that channel has in store for them is a rarity. It's to the point that, if they are watching a show live and a commercial comes on for an upcoming special they want to watch, my 6 year old has a hard time understanding that Daddy can't load it on Netflix or the DVR *right now.* If my

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      But some of us want the latest seasons and episodes, and live sports! Also, I am waiting for Netflix to have a downloadable copies (bandwidth and stability sucks for streaming for me) and non-subscription payments like Amazon, iTunes, etc.

  • by metrix007 ( 200091 ) on Monday October 14, 2013 @04:31AM (#45119303)

    Piracy is still the best, or in some cases the only option until companies wake up.

    Lets see

      - If I want a particular show, not the entire channel or package that requires that channel
      - If I don't want to wait months (or years if in a different country) after it has aired to watch it
      - If I want to have it in a standard format that doesn't require proprietary crap (e.g. mkv, avi, mp4)
      - If I want to watch it ad free
      - If I want to watch something that isn't otherwise released to Netflix or whatever...

    Oh, and for the anti-piracy whingers:

    - It's not stealing, it's copying. You may think the activity morally wrong, but that doesn't make it stealing
    - Every download is not a lost sale. A bunch of stuff I wouldn't pay for in the first place.
    - It has nothing to do with entitlement. It's about opportunity and choice.

    I would Gladly pay $5/episode for something like Breaking Bad, a show I enjoyed greatly.

    I had to download it, as I'm not going to pay for an entire package of channels just to watch one show, and there is no way to watch it the night it airs in a way I can play on mplayer with Linux or stream to my TV using DLNA.

    Your loss media companies....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Breaking Bad was able to be purchased through iTunes by the episode or as a season.
      So, horseshit you would have paid for it. You are just trying to justify your piracy when it is not justifiable.

      • Whether it is or is not justifiable is 100% subjective; same with morality in general.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        What you say is only true for a ONE SHOW and perhaps true for ONLY ONE COUNTRY.

        That leaves everything else and the rest of the planet.

      • Did you miss the part about wanting to watch it on Linux or through DLNA?

        iTunes is a massive fail, and I don't believe it was on iTunes the night it aired.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "I would Gladly pay $5/episode for something like Breaking Bad, a show I enjoyed greatly."

      You mean, like $2.99/episode on iTunes or Amazon offered ~1day after broadcast of not just Breaking Bad but the majority of all broadcast and basic cable shows (with a few dumbass holdouts)?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by flimflammer ( 956759 )

      Your bullshit is readily apparent here. Breaking Bad was sold per episode and season online almost instantly after initial broadcast. You probably didn't even look before you whipped out your favorite torrent site. Not surprising at all, really.

      • Breaking Bad was sold per episode and season online almost instantly after initial broadcast.

        It was licensed, not sold. Show me the DRM-free download.

      • I knew BB was available, it still wasn't available without DRM.

        Sorry, but I'm not installing iTunes, which doesn't let me play it through DLNA anyway.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      - Every download is not a lost sale. A bunch of stuff I wouldn't pay for in the first place.

      In your case with Breaking Bad, it IS a lost sale because you said you would gladly pay $5 for an episode. In fact, you can purchase episodes for $2.99 on Amazon on Demand and they will work with Linux (AOD can use Flash too). And they are HD. What is your next excuse? That they don't come with Swahili subtitles?

      You can tell yourself that it's not worth paying for to justify your stealing, but no one believes you. At this point, there's tons of good options for purchasing TV episodes: iTunes, Amazon,

      • 1) It's not stealing, stop repeating that ignorant nonsense

        2) You seemed to miss the DRM free part of my post. That isn't due to an ideological stance, but a practical need.

    • by hodet ( 620484 )

      I just subscribed to Netflix explicitly for Breaking Bad. Say what you want about Netflix and DRM but I have never seen anything as easy as this. Not bad for 8 bucks a month and will pay that any day of the week.

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        I too happily use Netflix.

        I think the price is fair, and thought the DRM can be annoying (fast forward and rewind are awkward), the fact that it doesn't purport to be be selling me anything makes it not too bitter of a pill.

        $8/month gives me access while I pay, and there are dozens of devices to play it on.

        • by norite ( 552330 )
          And not a single ad in sight, anywhere. Best $8 a month we ever spent. Add another $5 for a proxy to get regional NF content, why on earth would we ever want ad infested cable?
      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        The DRM gets stored in an obscure file somewhere in the Silverlight plugin. Once every so often, the Microsoft-specific database file that keeps your keys around will corrupt itself for no good reason (probably because it's attempting to update the DRM keys) and you'll have to go uninstall Silverlight, manually delete that file (because uninstalling does NOT remove EVERYTHING), then reinstall Silverlight just to get it back to work.

        When you have ANY other media player open that has audio/video capture (VLC,

    • How about $1.99 per episode? ($1.89 if you subscribed to the whole season.) Amazon VOD had that price. I didn't check, but I'm sure iTunes was similar in cost. Add a Roku box or AppleTV (depending on where you get your shows) and you could get the shows legally for much less than your stated price of $5 per episode.

      • That's not the point though.

        I don't want to have to install a shitty roku box just to play certain premium content, when I invested in a SmartTV and should be able to play it through DLNA.

        What's that? My SmartTV has an App for Amazon VOD? That's great, except for when I am traveling for work and want to watch it on my Linux Laptop....

        It's not just about making content available, it's about making it available in a standard format.

        At the moment piracy offers a better product for free than the paid product.


    • I have a full cable package because Comcast decided the bundle was cheaper than just internet. I have a cable card network tuner, tried out windows media center (the only software cable cards will work with do to required bribe and DRM). At the end of the day automated usenet/torrent down loaders like sickbeard were far easier. MCE's UI is atrocious, slow, and clunky the inability to format shift was the kicker though. XBMC does nearly everything I want, pause a show int he living room, resume in my bed

  • Right now cable companies have to maintain a server system for providing and tracking payout of Movie and Pay on Demand services. In essence Netflix becomes a cloud service which removes a ton of their headaches. The cable company only has to provide current tv show episodes and special events on demands like sports (Olympics, WWE.)

    The downside is that a Hulu could come in replace their TV Shows and Demand. Again sounds good but that means they slowing become just an internet provider and are loosing thei

  • Any deal to put NF on cable boxes will come with some type of agreement that keeps NF from streaming live content, which is something that scares the cable guy big time. Other agreements that keep NF infringing on their territory might be included as well. This is why NF on cable boxes might not happen any time soon.
    • Maybe, maybe not. Netflix is already on a wide variety of app-enabled TV's and Blu-Ray players, on TIVO, on Roku, etc... etc... Among the various boxes that make up my home entertainment system the only ones that Netflix isn't available on are my ancient steam powered VCR/DVD player and the sound system.

      The cable companies could very well decide to get themselves a piece of that action.

      • Well, unlike those others, the devices and manufacturers of those devices are not direct competitors with NF as cable companies are. But financially, there is little or no "action" to get a piece of beyond customer attraction/retention.

        But yes, there is some incentive to include NF from a competitive, customer retention & attraction standpoint. There is also incentive to get as many cable boxes into homes as possible and collect the rent. I don't see Time Warner making that move any time soon.....we
  • Will they be giving all their employees shirts with nipple flaps, then?
  • > And both sides want to be the go-to destination for consumers to find on-demand TV programming.' Cable providers don't want anything to do with being an on-demand provider for customers. In fact they want the exact opposite. If they had any interest in allowing people to pay for only the content that they wanted then they would have done it years ago and you or I would have never heard of Netflix. What cable companies want is to package 50 garbage channels in with 5 that people actually want into ever
  • slumming the wrong direction in time.

    If they're bright, they'll negotiate a deal for a prominent position in the onscreen overlay, including a prized position near channel 200, or wherever the HD default portal entry is. Perhaps also a Netflix orange button on the remote even.

    Otherwise they'll turn into just another channel, on demand maybe, but their favored economic ground other channels are trying to overtake with their own custom series will begin to evaporate.

  • How about have a la carte channels on netflix so I only have to pay cable companies for internet access?

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.