Netflix (NFLX) Could Be Largest Casualty in Apple (AAPL), Cable Operator Deal

August 17, 2012 2:04 PM EDT
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Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is trading lower on the session and for good reason: it might be facing its fiercest competitor yet, should a certain series of events play out.

Analyst firm Bernstein commented on the stock following reports Thursday that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) could be in talks with U.S. cable operators over a potential deal to stream TV content on its set-top-box unit. Though Apple has negotiated with the operators before, sources said the Company might be willing to make better concessions in order to score a deal.

And that could spell trouble for Netflix. Bernstein thinks the streaming content giant could see the largest disruption on any potential deal between Apple and the operators.

Over the long-term, Bernstein thinks Apple's "resources, brand, and distribution capabilities" will lead its expansion in the TV segment. Even if Apple opts to include such apps as Hulu, HBO Go, and Amazon/com (Nasdaq: AMZN) Instant Video, the firm thinks that it would still be a negative, with multiple choices limiting advantages that Netflix might have had.

Netflix is about 0.8 percent lower Friday, with light volume on the move.

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