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Streaming giant Netflix might have scored its biggest coup to date by being bundled with Time Warner Cable service, but Comcast's acquisition ambitions could very well put the brakes on those plans.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Comcast's proposed $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable could have ripple effects beyond the respective companies' traditional product offerings, threatening the launch of an internet-infused set-top box platform.
Time Warner Cable is said to have been well into negotiations with Netflix to include its streaming video catalog as part of the traditional cable television content offered on its set-top boxes. Those plans could now be derailed completely by Comcast, who reportedly is also in early discussions with Netflix.
Comcast's own X1 box shines a spotlight on streaming content, including movie and TV show sales or rentals as well as services such as Netflix -- but analysts note that Comcast hasn't been as aggressive as Time Warner in embracing such streaming rivals.
“They will not be in any kind of rush to let Netflix on their cable box and cannibalize their business,” said Arvind Bhatia, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc.
With 44.4 million online subscribers, Netflix has been successful thus far at signing with two European cable providers, but is now eyeing further growth by piggybacking onto services that use TiVo-branded set-top boxes. By comparison, the combined Comcast and Time Warner would make up the largest cable conglomerate with nearly 30 million subscribers.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter