Netflix is a great frenemy if you're BT or Virgin Media

Netflix - growing fast
Netflix - growing fast

Both Virgin and BT have reaped the benefits in opening up their platform to Netflix, research firm IHS has claimed, with rival Sky still to find an agreement with the streaming giant.

With Sky on the verge of rolling out its next generation Sky Q, the debate over the need for inclusion of streaming services from Netflix and Amazon in top-end set-top boxes has continued, although unconfirmed industry rumours suggest that the sticking point has been over money and not a lack of desire to offer the service.

But, according to IHS, the right deal would be a beneficial one, with a piece of research called 'Netflix on Pay TV: A Marriage of Convenience', suggesting that having a 'one-stop shop' platform positively impacts on the bottom line.


The report does caution on the future impact of Netflix - especially on those that offer movies as a core bolt-on service like Sky, but it remains a worthy debate.

"Netflix is a both less lucrative and more dangerous content partner to work with than the other premium networks pay TV providers traditionally partner with, such as HBO," said IHS Technology research director, Ted Hall.

"But collaborating with the ever-popular streaming service is necessary for many operators positioning their platforms as one-stop-shop ecosystems for TV and video content.

"Netflix plays at least some – likely small – role as an upsell driver for some operators, whose customers can only access the app via their most advanced set-top boxes."

So, is this likely to play into the discussion between Sky and Netflix? It remains to be seen, but for the time being Sky's official line remains: "We work with many partners across the industry and are open to working with others in the future."

We've contacted Sky for any update on this stance.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.