Time Warner Presses Pause on Netflix Deal, Play on Comcast Merger

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Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWC) are still in the thick of serious negotiations regarding their merger deal, but although an agreement is forecast to be made by the end of 2014, other parties are now paying for the delay, and popular video-subscription service Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is one of them.

Prior to the announcement of the proposed $45.2 billion consolidation of the two biggest U.S. cable TV companies, Netflix and Time Warner were in talks about the cable company offering Netflix a spot on its set-top boxes. The deal was anticipated to significantly benefit both parties but especially Netflix.

The Scotts Valley, California-based company knows that users enjoy and support its online streaming and even employ Netflix on smart TVs, Apple TVs, and Rokus. But as CEO Reed Hastings explained to Bloomberg on Tuesday, the company still recognizes that easy TV screening could appeal to customers, and he maintained to the publication, “For us, it’s not a financial decision, it’s a customer-pleasing decision.”

But now it looks like no Netflix customers are going to be pleased anytime soon. Bloomberg reports that Time Warner has put its Netflix talks on hold until it secures its merger with Comcast. That’s an issue for Netflix, considering Comcast is now pitching its own X1 set-top box platform and is thus unlikely to be interested in welcoming any more competition into the area. Time Warner has still kept quiet as to whether it is even still deliberating its Netflix deal.

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