Netflix's Next Move: TV?

Company is in talks to become cable TV service: sources

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 14, 2013 6:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Netflix, the website that proved great television shows don't have to actually broadcast on your TV, is considering expanding ... to TV. Sources tell Reuters and the Wall Street Journal that the company is in negotiations with US pay-TV companies to make the on-demand video service part of their cable offerings. Netflix already has a similar deal with the UK's Virgin Media, but as Reuters notes, a move into the US market would be a big deal, because Netflix has generally been seen as an enemy of pay-TV here. However, at a conference last week, its CEO said that cable was " the natural direction for us in the long term," because it could rival Time Warner's HBO.

Still, it isn't a done deal yet. The Journal reports that many cable providers have been reticent to adopt the special technology Netflix says is imperative to making its content stream smoothly. Others are concerned that Netflix would use its service as a "Trojan Horse" to offer things like pay-per-view movies that would compete with the cable provider's other offerings. In the meantime, the company will continue to try to lure viewers away from their set-top boxes—it has just inked a deal with Sony Pictures Television for a 13-episode psychological thriller from the creators of FX's Damages, reports Deadline.

A Netflix DVD envelope and Netflix on-screen television menu.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
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