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Does Comcast’s ‘Plan B’ involve Netflix?

March 6, 2015, 5:00 PM UTC
Photograph by Bloomberg/Getty Images

The proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger has been one of the biggest stories in the world of telecom in the past few months. It’s looking increasingly likely that regulators won’t let the deal proceed.

That could lead Comcast to make another deal (or set of deals) to continue its expansion bid. At least one analyst thinks that might lead Comcast to make a bid for Netflix. BTIG research thinks that making a play for the streaming video company could make sense for Comcast if the bigger merger is not to be:

With Netflix now at a $30 billion market cap with most of its profits reinvested in overseas expansion, acquiring Netflix would be massively dilutive to Comcast shareholders. However, Netflix has no control shareholders and we have to imagine the board would listen to a truly compelling offer from Comcast.

This could lead to Netflix being integrated into Comcast’s cable boxes, which would potentially provide a big boost in subscriptions. There would be other possible benefits too:
Tech is hard and traditional media companies are simply not offering best-in-class apps across an array of devices. With consumers increasingly interested in ad-free streaming, Netflix could provide Comcast with an incredible team and platform to learn from, which could accelerate Comcast’s virtual MVPD efforts.
BTIG lists some other possible options too, including investing in other content creators and buying online content creators like Vice or The Blaze.