Virgin Media announced a new agreement with Netflix, which will see Virgin Media TiVo households getting a Netflix app, marking the first time Netflix has been available through a pay-TV platform.
While it's interesting to see a cable company embrace Netflix, which many see as a significant rival (and rightfully so), the agreement appears to basically amount to another device being able to get Netflix. Virgin Media subscribers still have to have existing Netflix accounts to use the service. It could significantly expand Netflix's UK subscriber base as well. Netflix only launched in the UK last year.
Still, it will be interesting to see if other cable providers work out similar arrangements with Netflix as a way to keep subscribers around.
A pilot is launching this week, and Netflix will be available to 1.7 million homes in the UK this year via Virgin.
"We’re delighted to be bringing yet another groundbreaking service onto TV screens in millions of Virgin Media homes," said Virgin Media COO Dana Strong. "Netflix is a fabulous addition to Virgin Media TiVo, enabling our customers to enjoy even more of their favourite shows and movies simply and easily – all through their TV set-top box and at outstanding value.
“Virgin Media TiVo offers different ways to watch, either subscription or pay per view, all seamlessly integrated for simple, intuitive viewing so there’s a world of great entertainment at your fingertips and everyone can be sure of the perfect TV moment," Strong added.
Bill Holmes, global head of business development at Netflix, said, “The UK has given Netflix a fantastic welcome and we’re excited to be partnering with Virgin Media to bring an amazing Netflix experience to Virgin Media customers.”
The initial pilot will roll out with 40,000 households. The app will be available in the Apps & Games section of the Virgin Media TiVo, and Netflix members will be able to log-in using their existing Netflix credentials. More homes will follow throughout the course of the year.
Image: Virgin Media