UPDATE 2-Netflix CEO hopeful for deals with Comcast, others

Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:31pm EDT

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES Oct 21 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc CEO Reed Hastings said on Monday he was hopeful the company would reach a deal with Comcast Corp and other pay television providers to offer his company's movie and TV streaming service through cable set-top boxes.

"I'm really hopeful we can do that with Comcast and others in the industry," Hastings told analysts on a video webcast after Netflix released quarterly earnings.

A Comcast spokeswoman had no comment on Hastings' remarks.

In September, Netflix announced it would be an option on TiVo Inc set-top boxes offered through pay television service Com Hem in Sweden and Virgin Media in Britain, allowing subscribers to watch the streaming service's shows and movies through an app without having to switch to another device.

Hastings, in an interview with Reuters, said he would like to reach similar arrangements with cable operators in the United States next year. The companies have been leery of potential competition from Netflix and other Silicon Valley newcomers.

Hastings said he believed U.S. cable operators would watch to see if the addition of Netflix helped Virgin, owned by John Malone's Liberty Global Plc, to sign up new customers.

"I think Virgin was willing to bet on their instinct that they should focus on a better experience," Hastings said. "If that works out, and they grow, then they will be very happy. And I think the other guys will follow."

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