WOW! To Offer Netflix On Leased Boxes

WideOpenWest said it has inked an agreement with Netflix that will allow the MSO to offer integrated access to the popular subscription streaming service on its Arris-based “Ultra TV” HD-DVR platform.

Developed for WOW! by Arris, the Ultra TV set-top box offers direct access to Netflix (on channel 1500 on the Ultra Smart Menu), alongside traditional live TV services, the device’s DVR and wireless home networking.

WOW! joins a growing group of North American operators that are or will soon offer integrated access to Netflix on MSO-leased devices. Several operators, including Suddenlink Communications, Cogeco, GCI, Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN, among others, already do so on their TiVo-powered platforms.

WOW! said the Netflix integration will be available soon to Illinois Ultra TV customers who subscribe to Netflix, and by early 2015 to WOW! Ultra TV customers in Evansville, Ind; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; and southeast Michigan.

Customers can also sign up for Netflix through the new app, the operator said.

Update: A WOW! spokeswoman confirmed that the operator is a member of Open Connect, Netflix’s private content delivery network that relies on edge caching appliances. The announcement also comes more than three months after Arris introduced “Arris Market,” noting at the time that there were no technical barriers that would prevent the new platform from adding Netflix to its apps mix.

“We are excited to bring Netflix to our WOW! Ultra TV customers and improve how they experience the service,” WOW! CEO Steven Cochran said in a release. “We’re continuously adapting our product offerings to serve the evolving needs of our customers. Simplifying access to Netflix content was highly requested by our Ultra TV customers and a natural next step for WOW!.”