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Netflix Strikes Third Pay TV Integration Deal in Europe

DOWN: Reed Hastings
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

The streaming video giant will make its service available via set-top boxes of Denmark's Waoo!

LONDON – Netflix has struck its third European deal to offer its streaming video service via a pay TV company's set-top boxes.

The company, led by CEO Reed Hastings, has partnered with Denmark’s Waoo, which operates a fiber-optic network and has 270,000 subscribers. Its TV customers will be able to access Netflix onscreen under the deal.

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Financial details weren't disclosed.

Netflix recently struck its first pay TV integration deal with U.K. cable giant Virgin Media, owned by John Malone's Liberty Global. It later announced a similar deal with Sweden’s Com Hem.

Much attention currently focuses on whether Netflix can reach such a deal in the U.S. CFO David Wells recently told a media investor conference that the company was pushing for such arrangements.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix has had early stage talks about such deals with Comcast and other pay TV firms. Analysts have said that the European integration deals are a sign that more pay TV firms are starting to see the Netflix service as a possible way to retain subscribers. Some have also argued that Netflix subscribers are more likely to pay for faster broadband services provided by cable firms.

In the U.S., Netflix has been mentioned as a possible reason why consumers decide to cut the (cable) cord. But some see it as possible added leverage in retransmission consent and carriage fee disputes with big TV networks operators.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai