U.K. telco giant BT wants to use Netflix to get new customers for its TV service: BT is now offering a bundle consisting of its traditional TV service, its BT Infinity broadband service and Netflix for just £5.99 (about $9.50) a month. Customers also get a free YouView streaming box, which now comes with a Netflix app pre-installed.
The deal is a promotional offer, which means that [company]BT[/company] is jacking up rates after six months, but it’s still noteworthy because BT and [company]Netflix[/company] are doing something that the streaming company hasn’t been able to do in the U.S. just yet: Customers pay for the Netflix part of the bundle through their monthly BT bill, much like a cable subscriber would pay for HBO in the United States. However, the difference is that Netflix still maintains the customer relationship, which makes it possible for consumers to cancel their service through the Netflix website at any time.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has long said that he wants Netflix to become like HBO before HBO can become like Netflix, and this kind of operator billing relationship could be the next step to this goal. Netflix has also been working on getting its app included on TV service operators’ set-top boxes, and the company has been striking more complex deals with operators across Europe, so we should see more of these deals coming to additional countries soon.
This post was updated at 10:10pm with more details on the relationship between BT and Netflix.