Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is going to be joining the programming line-up of three small cable-TV providers in the U.S. The agreements were made with Atlantic Broadband, RCN Telecom Services, and Grande Communications.
As part of the deal, Netflix’s subscription service will get a channel on the TiVo boxes that the three cable services provide to customers. Netflix is debuting on Atlantic and RCN on Monday and will expand on to Grande’s service by the end of next month. These three cable networks have 820,000 subscribers collectively that are between nine states and Washington D.C. RCN Telecom has 440,000 subscribers, Atlantic has 230,000 subscribers, and Grande has 150,000 subscribers.
Netflix is already available on cable TV boxes in England, Denmark and Sweden, but this is the first time it is becoming a cable channel in the U.S. Netflix has nearly 36 million U.S. subscribers, but is generally available through separate devices like a Roku or Apple TV device.
It sounds unlikely that Netflix will be available through a cable box offered through Comcast anytime soon. Netflix and Comcast seem to be critical of each other lately. For example, Netflix has been publicly opposing Comcast’s $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. And Comcast blamed Netflix for slow streaming rates and poor video quality over broadband connections based on Netflix’s “commercial transit decisions.”
“We think this signals a new generation of cable-TV service of offerings,” stated David Isenberg, Atlantic’s chief marketing and strategy officer. “It’s a watershed moment.”