The feud between Netflix and Comcast has been very public and very bitter, but it appears as if the two longtime enemies are coming together – for now. According to Recode, the feuding parties have agreed to a deal that will bring the former company’s streaming video on-demand (SVOD) service to the latter company’s X1 set-top box.
Netflix and Comcast have sparred with one another on several occasions, but the most significant battle between the two came in 2014, when Netflix accused Comcast of throttling its traffic, perhaps in response to the massive traffic costs generated by the then-recent release of season two of House of Cards. Ultimately, it was the SVOD platform that backed down; it agreed to pay Comcast a fee in exchange for smoother streaming.
That deal did not quite settle the differences between Netflix and Comcast. Later in 2014, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings excoriated Comcast, referring to it as a “monopoly” that holds all the power when negotiating with companies like his. That enmity seemed to linger for years, but Netflix and Comcast are now making nice. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, The Hollywood Reporter believes the SVOD is paying the media giant in order to gain access to X1 and its user base, which according to Forbes includes 35% of Comcast’s 22.4 million video customers.
“Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies,” reads a joint statement reported by Recode. “We have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year. We’ll provide more details at that time.”
The deal has potential advantages for both parties. Netflix’s subscriber growth has slowed lately, particularly domestically, and through X1 it can potentially find new users. Comcast, meanwhile, can give its customers access to new content while also potentially improving its relationship with the FCC, which has emerged as a powerful ally of Netflix and an opponent of Comcast.
Will this deal mark the end of the war between Netflix and Comcast? We don’t know yet, but for now, the two media power players seem to have kissed and made up.