Mediacom Communications said it has inked a deal with Netflix that clears the way for the MSO to offer the over-the-top SVOD service on MSO-leased TiVo-powered boxes.
A Mediacom spokesman said the agreement with Netflix does not involve Open Connect, Netflix’s private content delivery network that relies on edge caching devices. That’s an important distinction, considering that Mediacom has previously held that Netflix was using integration on MVPD-leased TiVo boxes as a “bargaining chip in their Open Connect negotiations.”
Instead of Open Connect, the agreement between Mediacom and Netflix calls for the MSO to build fiber directly to Netflix’s facilities, “eliminating the middlemen,” Thomas Larsen, Mediacom’s group vice president of legal and public affairs, said via email.
While that sort of agreement sounds like the kind of paid interconnection deals Netflix has signed with Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable (Bright House Networks is benefitting from the TWC/Netflix agreement), Mediacom’s agreement with Netflix does not involve payments, Larsen explained.
Mediacom ranked seventh among major U.S. ISPs on Netflix’s ISP Speed Index for March 2015, providing an average Netflix streaming speed of 3.24 Mbps. Mediacom said it expects the quality of its customers’ Netflix video experience to improve further as the MSO completes construction of a direct connection to the Netflix network this summer.
Mediacom’s TiVo customers will need to have an existing Netflix subscription or subscribe to Netflix in order to utilize the Netflix app.
Mediacom, which provides services to about 1.3 million customers in 22 states, joins several other TiVo MSO partners to integrate Netflix on leased boxes, a group that includes Suddenlink Communications, RCN, Cogeco, Cable One, Midcontinent Communications, Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and Virgin Media, among others.
"Striking this agreement with Netflix is another great example of Mediacom taking steps to simplify and enrich the customer experience inside the home," said Mediacom’s executive vice president of operations, John Pascarelli, in a statement. “Adding the easy functionality of popular services like Netflix to the TiVo set-top box gives Mediacom customers far greater access to content and underscores the superior quality of our high-speed Internet service.”
"Mediacom is making it even easier for consumers to watch Netflix on their TVs," added Bill Holmes, Netflix’s global head of business development. "This combination of traditional cable services with Netflix’s online content significantly enhances the experience of Mediacom customers.”