×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix to Launch on Three U.S. Cable Operators via TiVo

Netflix has grabbed its first foothold with cable operators in the United States, with plans to launch on three smaller companies next week through an app on TiVo DVRs.

The deals are with RCN Telecom Services, Atlantic Broadband and Grande Communications. The MSOs are tiny compared with giants like Comcast or Time Warner Cable, but the deals show that at least some in the cable biz are receptive to Netflix’s overtures. RCN has about 333,000 video subs, while Atlantic Broadband has 230,000 customers and Grande serves around 140,000.

“Netflix is good for us because it’s fantastic for our customers. It’s delivering the best possible customer experience,” said David Isenberg, chief marketing and strategy officer for Atlantic Broadband. “The perception in the media is that Netflix is a competitor to cable. That’s not really the case. The content libraries are tremendously complementary — they fit hand in glove.”

In announcing first-quarter earnings Monday, Netflix had said it would launch the first pay-TV integration of its service in the U.S. The streaming-video leader has inked similar pacts with European providers, the biggest being the U.K.’s Virgin Media, to provide access to Netflix’s service. Virgin Media, like the U.S. operators, offers Netflix through TiVo set-tops.

SEE ALSO: Netflix to Raise Prices $1 to $2 per Month for New Subscribers

TiVo customers on RCN, Atlantic Broadband and Grande will need to have an existing Netflix subscription. If they don’t, they can sign up directly on the TiVo boxes in a three-step process, to receive the standard one-month-free offer, but eventually they would have to set up an account with Netflix.

Isenberg compared the addition of Netflix as similar to premium channels like HBO and Showtime. In fact, Atlantic Broadband will add Netflix as a channel in its grid guide on TiVo set-tops, adjacent to other premium cablers. “Watching Netflix is as easy as picking up the remote and changing the channel,” he said.

Atlantic Broadband customers with TiVo DVRs will begin seeing Netflix activated starting Monday afternoon, he said. The operator, which serves about 230,000 customers in six states, launched TiVo option for customers last October. The company would not disclose how many customers have taken TiVo DVRs, but Isenberg said the launch “has been greater than we expected.”

One of the critical barriers Netflix needed to resolve was that clauses in some of its previous licensing contracts with Hollywood studios prohibited the company from offering service through pay-TV operators. Netflix over time has updated those deals for the U.S. market, and it’s now crossed those hurdles.

Atlantic Broadband participates in Netflix’s Open Connect content-delivery program, in which caching servers are co-located within the MSO’s data center. That lets the operator deliver much higher-quality video “at a lower cost to both us and Netflix,” Isenberg said.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Magic Leap Raising Another Funding Round

    Magic Leap Is Raising Another Big Funding Round

    Augmented reality startup Magic Leap is raising even more money. The company is currently in the process of raising its Series E round of funding, a spokesperson told Variety on Monday. Magic Leap previously raised around $2.6 billion, including $280 million from NTT Docomo in April. “Magic Leap is in the midst of a significant [...]

  • hearst logo

    Hearst Magazines Unionizes With Writers Guild of America East

    The Writers Guild of America East has scored a major victory by unionizing Hearst Magazines’ editorial, video, design, photo and social staff across 24 digital and print brands. The New York-based WGA East, which has about 6,000 members in film, television, news and digital media, announced on Monday that a strong majority of the 500-member [...]

  • Apple AR Headset Coming in 2022:

    Apple Said to Prep AR Headset for 2022

    Apple’s augmented reality (AR) headset won’t be arriving on store shelves until at least 2022, according to a new The Information report. The iPhone maker reportedly updated a large number of employees about the project last month, filling the spacious Steve Jobs Theater on its Cupertino, Calif. campus with employees working on AR hardware. Apple [...]

  • Variety Launches New Video Series, 'Daily

    Variety Launches New Video Series, 'Daily Variety'

    Variety has launched a daily video series covering the business of entertainment. Hosted by Audrey Cleo Yap and executive produced by Eva Wong, “Daily Variety” will feature breaking news coverage and analysis from Variety’s award-winning staff as well as in-depth features and interviews with top industry professionals. Each bite-sized segment and featured clip will be [...]

  • Pluto: Vevo Stations Launching on Ad-Supported

    Channeling MTV, Vevo Launches Linear Programming on Pluto

    Music television is back: Major label-owned music video platform Vevo is launching a series of linear channels for leanback viewing on Pluto TV, the ad-supported video service that got acquired by Viacom earlier this year. A first channel, dubbed Vevo Pop, will launch on November 12; additional channels, including a holiday-themed station, are expected to [...]

  • Instagram tests hiding likes

    Instagram Will Begin Hiding Likes in the U.S.: Smart Move or Misguided Fail?

    Instagram is about to launch a test of removing like counts from posts in the U.S. — and, predictably, the idea has been met with a range of reactions ranging from praise and support to concern and mockery. The hope is that the change can reduce anxiety among Instagram users, to make social media less [...]

  • Scott Stuber, Ron Howard are seen

    Netflix's Scott Stuber: Film Biz Needs to 'Be Calm and Talk Through' Exhibition Disputes

    Netflix film chief Scott Stuber urged film producers and exhibitors to come together to reach a consensus on exhibition window disputes as Netflix and other streaming giants move forcefully into feature production. Stuber, Netflix’s VP of film, spoke Saturday morning at the Producers Guild of America’s Produced By NY conference in a wide-ranging Q&A with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content