This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Netflix Is Not Coming to Comcast, TWC (UPDATED)

Because, of course, why wouldn't the evil cable companies, as Netflix notes in its Q3 letter, "believe that by enabling their subscribers to do more with their cable set-top and remote, they can increase satisfaction, relative to their subscribers using a separate Internet set-top box or smart TV to enjoy Netflix." I mean it has to be some damn technical issue, not the reality of the television/content business keeping this most obvious move from taking place.

A clear case of Netflix playing the public's dislike for cable companies against these same cable companies moving, albeit slowly, to unbundle without Netflix and the pesky technology-related hurdles that apparently prevent the same from happening with Netflix.

First, where there's a will there's a way. If the cable companies really wanted to make Netflix set-top box integration happen, they could. The executives at these companies would direct their engineers and other tech geeks to get it done. Maybe not overnight, but certainly in a time frame measuring far less than "many years."

Second, they're not moving with urgency because there's absolutely no need to. While Netflix could use the potential subscriber bump an alliance with big cable might provide, the cable companies and major programmers have little incentive to facilitate the process.

They simply do not need Netflix as part of their evolving set of bundles to provide value. After all, it's the big media names that license and/or actually own almost all of the content Netflix streams. To that end, by promoting their own Internet delivery initiatives they can ultimately render Netflix, for all intents and purposes, unnecessary.

While I have received confirmation from high-level sources that a Netflix-squashing partnership between HBO and AMC Networks (AMCX - Get Report) is always possible, though not probable, expect HBO to explore ways to make its HBO GO streaming service even more attractive. Remember, in addition to its own library of exclusive content, HBO has relationships with programmers and studios who have their own caches of the same. I expect the Comcast accord to mark merely the beginning of the old, but hardly sleepy media's efforts to evolve its business models.

That said, cable investors were furious because there's no need to blow up these lucrative models right now. And there's absolutely no good reason for Comcast, Time Warner Cable or even a smaller provider to include Netflix in an evolution it has no place being part of.

The long-standing relationships cable companies have with names such as HBO mean billions of dollars to both sides. As such, we should expect the big money with investments (that are doing quite well) dependent on the health of these arrangements to freak out over the folly of working Netflix into the mix. There's just no need for it from any perspective, despite the Netflix spin.

And, even if the technology was ready to go tomorrow morning, Netflix becoming part of your no-longer local and equally-as-evil (I'm just playing off of popular sentiment and frustration) cable company's offering, especially if your set-top box says Comcast or Time Warner Cable on it, isn't happening anytime soon no matter how badly Netflix or the media it has in its coat pocket wants it to.

*UPDATE: And, lo and behold, on Comcast's Thursday earnings call, Comcast Cable's President and CEO, Neil Smit, had this to say about the possibility of adding Netflix to the Comcast cable lineup:

Let me take the questions one at a time. On the Netflix side, really there's nothing to report. It's been, frankly, incredible to me the amount of press coverage this has received. Our customers can receive Netflix in a number of ways, so it's not really a high priority for us. We're open to putting apps on our X1 platform. We have, for example, Facebook and Pandora there now. But at this point, we don't really have anything to report on the Netflix front.

Yes, Neil, it's been incredible to me as well.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
3 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AMCX $76.02 1.80%
CMCSA $56.45 1.40%
NFLX $417.43 0.64%
TWX $85.76 0.76%
TWC $147.80 0.87%

Markets

DOW 17,960.43 +247.77 1.40%
S&P 500 2,081.59 +20.57 1.00%
NASDAQ 4,930.1680 +38.9490 0.80%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs