Netflix and Comcast have reached a landmark deal that will finally allow those with X1 set-top boxes to access the streaming service, the companies announced today in a joint statement to Recode.
For Netflix, this marks the biggest deal yet in terms of accessibility to a much larger audience through traditional cable and satellite mediums. Essentially, the deal assures that Netflix will have the same status as premium cable networks, like HBO and Starz. Those that have X1 set-top boxes will be able to select Netflix directly from the box without having to switch over to a laptop, tablet or phone to stream instead.
According to Recode, the deal will be similar to what Netflix already has with companies like Apple, Roku and Google, which allow users to stream Netflix through their different devices, like the Apple TV set-top box and Google Chromecast dongle. The move to having Netflix on X1 set-boxes should lead to an increase in subscribers for both Comcast and Netflix, according to analysts, and while it seems like an obvious move, the history between the two companies has been contentious.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has called out Comcast over violating net neutrality ideals, and both companies have publicly argued with one another over the quality of streaming Comcast delivers to its customers. The fact that the two companies have come together to strike this deal makes it even more momentous.
With the addition of the X1 set-top boxes, and the inclusion of the app in many smart television sets, Netflix continues to be the most popular and accessible streaming service for those that don't want to completely cut the cord and go 100 percent digital. Comcast announced in May that 35 percent of subscribers have an X1 set-top box.