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. Considering the fact that AT&T is the fifth largest of the five major operators, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Gigaom notes that AT&T has been open to forward-looking partnerships in the past, but the reasoning behind the unannounced deal might simply boil down to hardware. AT&T uses the same Ericsson set-top boxes as Germany’s Deutsche Telekom. Netflix has already built an app for that set-top box which Entertain pay TV subscribers currently have access to.
So there are plenty of reasons for AT&T to join forces with Netflix, but why would Comcast, Time Warner or Charter take the plunge? How about cold, hard cash? The report also mentions that Netflix might be willing to allow operators to include Netflix as part of their monthly subscription fees if they would partner with the streaming service.
This might sound frightening, but no matter where Netflix goes, it’s not going to change how it interacts with its customers. Whenever you want to cancel Netflix, whether it’s part of your cable subscription or just discs in the mail, you’ll be able to do so, no questions asked.