It only makes sense, really. Netflix
has taken over the content world in many ways, even going so far as to fund original programming of its own and buck the usual trend by making entire seasons available at once. That journey has led it to an enviable position, but to date, getting to Netflix still requires something that many American households don't simply have by default. You either need a computer, a tablet, a game console, or a standalone set-top box. We're guessing that executives within Netflix have been asking themselves this question for a long while: "What would happen if Netflix access was built straight into an everyday DVR?"
According to a new Wall Street Journal report, that's exactly what's going on behind the scenes, hinting that we may be closer than ever before to a new wave of cable boxes with Netflix integration. Reportedly, Netflix is talking with Comcast, Suddenlink and potential even more providers "to make its online video service available as an app on their set-top boxes." If these deals were to go through, you'd have to imagine that every other ISP / cable provider would follow suit shortly.
The reason that it has taken this long for these talks to get serious should be obvious: Netflix is a clear threat to the age-old business model
of Pay-TV. And as we've seen, Pay-TV providers have been absolutely against any form of disruption in their industry, particularly as it relates to a la carte programming. But even cable execs are starting to see the writing on the wall: even thought many existing cable subscribers are keeping their packages while supplementing them with Netflix, there's an entire generation of college kids ready to graduate and start new families. And for them, they'll be perfect fine never having used a cable subscription. They've grown up on digital downloads, streaming, and Netflix -- why bite on cable now? That's an obvious problem for cable providers, and as the saying goes, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
At this point, pay-TV providers should probably wake up and embrace the Netflix connection rather than reject it; sticking by old policies while the world around you changes will only work for so long. Hopefully, we'll hear more on this in official fashion soon.