Netflix To Enter Comcast Next Week

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Nov 07, 2016 06:00 AM EST

Starting this week, Comcast X1 users will be able to stream Netflix directly from the cable box.It's part of a partnership between Netflix and Comcast, first announced in July, that will begin rolling out as a beta test to those who have Comcast's new X1 platform.

Comcast will alert X1 users when the beta test becomes available to them, and then all they need to do is opt-in via Comcast Labs and access Netflix by logging in or signing up directly through X1. The test will become available to more and more X1 users throughout the next few weeks, and the app will fully debut to all X1 customers sometime this year, meaning Netflix titles will be accessible via the universal search feature and not just through Comcast Labs.

With Comcast's X1 integration, Netflix could potentially sign up 4 million to 5 million new subs, according to an analysis by Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge. The cable giant will have between 9 million and 11 million video subs with access to Netflix through the X1 set-top box; currently about 58% of Comcast X1 subs are Netflix paid subs, per Cowen's estimates. As of the end of September, Comcast had 22.43 million video subscribers nationwide.

With Netflix on X1, cable customers can browse and access Netflix TV shows and movies alongside the live, on-demand, DVR and web programming included with their Xfinity TV subscription. Netflix content will be "fully integrated" into Xfinity On Demand, letting X1 customers watch past and current seasons Netflix original series like "House of Cards," "Orange Is the New Black" and "Stranger Things" from the same menu with past and current seasons of popular TV shows on Comcast VOD.

X1 customers can launch the Netflix app by simply saying "Netflix" into the voice-enabled remote; browse Netflix content alongside other VOD movies and shows; and search for an actor like "Adam Sandler" or "Kevin Spacey" and see all the titles they appear in across both Xfinity and Netflix catalogs.

By putting Netflix on Comcast directly, the cable firm gets to keep consumers more within its own ecosystem. Users will be able to switch on Netflix, for instance, by saying "Netflix" into their Comcast-provided, voice-activated remote. And they'll be exposed to traditional cable content right alongside the Netflix content.

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