Netflix's Internet video service is about to join the programming lineup of three small
cable-TV providers in the U.S., a breakthrough that acknowledges the growing popularity
of online entertainment. The agreements with Atlantic Broadband, RCN Telecom Services
and Grande Communications gives Netflix's subscription service a channel on the TiVo
boxes that the three cable services provide their customers. Netflix will debut on Atlantic
and RCN on Monday and then will expand on to Grande's service by end of next month.
Collectively, the three cable-TV services have about 820,000 subscribers scattered through
nine states and Washington D.C. Although that's a small fraction of the cable-TV market,
the deals represent another milestone for Netflix Inc. as it tries to make its Internet video
service more like premium channels such as HBO and Showtime.
Netflix already had landed spots on the cable-TV boxes of services in England, Denmark
and Sweden, but hadn't been able to make similar inroads in the U.S. until now. The
company's nearly 36 million U.S. subscribers typically have to buy a separate device,
such as video game console or a player from Roku or Apple Inc., if they want to stream
video on to their TVs. That method usually requires a separate remote and an additional
step to flip over to a different TV input to see the picture. Now, Netflix will be like any other
channel on the cable-TV dial except that it relies on a high-speed Internet connection to
deliver its video.
Source: Huff Post