Comcast will add Netflix to cable bundles in U.S.

The Netflix logo is shown above their booth at Comic Con International in San Diego, California, U.S., July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comcast Corp CMCSA.O, the leading U.S. cable television provider, will offer new video packages that include subscriptions to Netflix Inc's NFLX.O movie and TV streaming service, the companies announced on Friday.

It is the first time a U.S. pay TV provider has agreed to include Netflix in its channel bundles. For years, cable operators had been wary of competition from the Hollywood upstart, but many have now concluded that welcoming the streaming video giant will help fight cord cutting.

In a statement on Friday, the companies said Netflix will be available later this month through various Xfinity TV packages delivered through Comcast’s X1 set-top box. Pricing was not disclosed.

Since 2016, Xfinity customers have been able to sign up for Netflix separately on X1. Offering Netflix as part of a package will simplify billing for customers, as Comcast will handle payments to Netflix.

Netflix made a similar arrangement in March with Sky Plc SKYB.L in Britain, one of several partnerships it has made to help bring in new customers.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Sandra Maler