UPDATE 1-Netflix makes deals to appear on first U.S. cable boxes

Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:34pm EDT
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(Adds details on agreements)

By Lisa Richwine and Liana B. Baker

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, April 24 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc's streaming video subscription service will be integrated into TiVo Inc set-top boxes for customers of three of the smaller U.S. cable operators, the companies said on Thursday.

The deals with Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN Telecom Services are the first in the United States to bring Netflix as an app to cable set-top boxes. The arrangements make it easier for consumers to access Netflix movies and TV shows on their television sets because they don't have to switch to another device like an Apple TV or Roku box.

Netflix could come to more cable boxes provided by other TiVo partners if the cable companies work out the agreements, a TiVo spokesman said.

Cable companies that use TiVo boxes include Suddenlink, Mediacom, Cable One and Blue Ridge Communications, a small provider in Pennsylvania.

Netflix has been talking with cable providers for months about the company's desire to have its streaming service accessible through set-top boxes, which it believes will help retain and win new subscribers.

Chief Executive Reed Hastings has said he would like to link up with other providers including Comcast Corp, which has more than 22 million video subscribers and is seeking regulatory approval for a $45.3 billion bid for No. 2 operator Time Warner Cable Inc

Among the three providers that announced agreements with Netflix, RCN is the largest with about 350,000 subscribers in Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities.   Continued...