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[video] HBO, TWC Punkslap Netflix as Cable Adapts

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Interesting, you don't hear much talk from Netflix (NFLX) these days about being a part of your cable package.

Probably because, as TheStreet reported exclusively in late October, it's not going to happen anytime soon (if ever) or in any meaningful way. In fact, rumors of "talks" with cable companies that Netflix did nothing to squash were just that. Figments of the media's imagination.

Of course, when something blows up in Netflix's face, there's nary a peep from a vast majority of the media pointing it out. If the media can spin Netflix news or rumor positive, they'll do it incessantly, as with the Netflix Could Come to Cable fairy tale.

You might not care about this flavor of hack journalism with respect to Netflix, but you should. Someday it will color an issue that matters to you and maybe even the world.

Anyhow, on Oct. 31, in the same story as the one where we debunked the Netflix to cable myth, TheStreet noted:

Expect more deals like the Comcast one with basic cable, basic Internet, a cable-company backed streaming offering, HBO and HBO GO to appear soon. This is not what Netflix wants, but when Time Warner Cable, for example, announces a similar package (and I'm almost certain it will) it's likely to include HBO, not Netflix.

And that's exactly how things have transpired. On the heels of the deal Time Warner's (TWX) Home Box Office (HBO) signed with Comcast (CMCSA), HBO inks a similar pact with Time Warner Cable (TWC).

I should point out that the always-observant Variety spotted the actual existence of the HBO/TWC bundle offer first Monday afternoon.

This is a punkslap right across Reed Hastings and Netflix's collective mug. Don't let media spin or the CEO's smoke and mirrors' machine tempt you to believe otherwise.

Netflix desperately wants its logo bundled with Comcast and Time Warner Cable basic cable and/or basic Internet service, not HBO's. But that's not going to happen because, just as the big media controls the game with respect to content, it dictates the pace in this arena as well.

Fair or unfair, appealing to consumers or not, it's the way it is. And Netflix sure as heck isn't going to change this reality. Cable companies and their big media content partners will continue to adapt, control and dictate the pace of what amounts to their own game. 

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

Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. 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.

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