Comcast-Time Warner deal threatens Netflix's plan for cable boxes

Netflix’s attempt to bring its video streaming service to Time Warner Cable set-top boxes “is on hold now that the cable operator is being sold,” Bloomberg reported today, citing anonymous sources. Comcast last week announced it has a deal to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion. Netflix was in talks with several pay-TV providers to integrate the subscription video service with set-top boxes. Comcast and Time Warner Cable were among the companies that Netflix was negotiating with.

Netflix Inc. (NFLX)’s effort to secure a place for its video-subscription service on Time Warner Cable Inc. set-top boxes is on hold now that the cable operator is being sold, people with knowledge of the matter said. The discussions are unlikely to progress before Time Warner Cable (TWC)’s $45.2 billion acquisition by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) is completed, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. Comcast, which isn’t as far along in its own talks with Netflix, is focused on increasing film downloads and rentals with its new X1 set-top box platform, they said. “They will not be in any kind of rush to let Netflix on their cable box and cannibalize their business,” said Arvind Bhatia, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. in Dallas who has a neutral rating on Netflix.

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