Update: Netflix on Thursday snared its latest distribution coup: A long-overdue partnership with TiVo in what amounts to a Netflix everywhere strategy.
Under a four-year deal, Netflix will stream its movie and TV episode library on TiVo's digital recorders starting in December. The deal, reported at various outlets (Techmeme), gives Netflix another distribution outlet and provides TiVo with a way to differentiate itself from other DVRs. Netflix, which will be embedded on Samsung Blu-ray players shortly, also offers its own player in partnership with Roku and distributes its service via Microsoft’s Xbox platform. Netflix also has an electronics deal with LG Electronics. In addition, Netflix streams movie rentals online to subscribers.
Netflix on TiVo will be available in December.
Update: Tivo and Netflix said in a statement:
The two companies said they are initiating a test of the new capability today in several thousand U.S. households and expect it to be broadly available in early December, in time for the holidays. The ability to instantly watch content from Netflix on the TV via TiVo DVRs will be offered at no additional charge to customers who subscribe to both services.
The two had tried to collaborate in 2004 to deliver movies over the Internet, but the stars--actually the licensing of movies--didn't quite line up. TiVo has 3.6 million subscribers and Netflix has 8.7 million. It's unclear what the customer overlap is, but given the subscriber tally Netflix may be a bigger help to TiVo than the other way around.
Netflix recently reported earnings and cut its outlook for the fourth quarter amid weak consumer spending. TiVo reported its fiscal second quarter results in August and has been profitable for two consecutive quarters, but projected a net loss for the third quarter. However, TiVo won a lawsuit against Echostar and was awarded $104.6 million in damages that will bolster the company's coffers.