Are Comcast and Netflix burying the hatchet? After years of squabbling, the two companies reached a landmark agreement to allow the Netflix app to appear on Comcast’s X1 platform, Recode reports.
The companies said in a joint statement to the site: “Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies. 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.”
Under the new arrangement, Netflix would be incorporated into the set-top box as an app, similar to how it appears on other devices (like Roku and Apple TV). The deal is significant because Netflix has been a vocal critic of Comcast, saying the broadcast giant violates net neutrality.
In a 2012 letter to shareholders, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells criticized Comcast for exempting Xbox from its broadband usage caps.
“This is not neutral in any sense,” they said. “The only difference between the Xfinity Xbox data and Netflix Xbox data is the Xfinity data is favored by Comcast exempting it from the cap.”
The new agreement signals a thaw in Netflix and Comcast’s previously icy relationship — and it could be a boon for both companies. As Recode notes, the deal could help Netflix gain subscribers and allow Comcast to compete with Internet-TV companies that offer apps.
GeekWire has reached out to Comcast and will update this story with any additional information from the company.