Netflix has been steadily chipping away at cable TV for years now, but the popular streaming service is all too aware of how valuable a partnership with the biggest names in cable could be. On Wednesday, Gigaom reported that sources with knowledge of the company’s plans say that Netflix is closing in on a deal with one of the country’s biggest cable providers, and an announcement could come as soon as early 2015. The sources weren’t entirely corroborative, but AT&T seemed to be the most likely candidate.
Netflix’s new strategy to take on cable involves becoming best friends with cable: The video streaming service has been working hard to get its app included on set-top boxes of cable, fiber and satellite TV operators, and has been looking to strike deals with major U.S. operators. These deals could not only greatly expand Netflix’s potential audience, but also change how the company deals with both consumers and operators. Internally, partnerships with TV operators are seen as the next big step for the company. Earlier this year, a Netflix job offer put it this way: “After having Netflix integrated on every relevant TV, Blu-Ray Player, Streaming Box, and Streaming Stick our new frontier is now cable boxes. We want to reach our current and future members on devices they use most frequently to watch linear TV, cable, and satellite set top boxes. (…) Our mad dash to integrate Netflix into all devices was just the start, now things start to get interesting…”