Bloomberg News

Netflix Gains on Report of Apple TV Ties: Los Angeles Mover

February 07, 2012

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc., the online video operator, rose 2.8 percent on a website report suggesting the service would be included in an Apple Inc. TV set.

Netflix rose to $129.25 in New York following TheVerge.com’s report that retailer Best Buy Co. surveyed customers on their interest in an Apple TV set that would offer Netflix streaming. The stock rebounded from an earlier drop of 3.6 percent on news of new competition from Verizon Communications Inc.

Best Buy’s survey asks customers about a 42-inch Apple television for $1,499, with services including Netflix, Google Inc.’s YouTube and Flickr. The survey was hypothetical, said Tara Mulcahy, an outside spokeswoman for the Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer.

“The customer survey was a routine offer effectiveness survey conducted by one of Best Buy’s research partners,” according to a statement. “Any brand reference was hypothetical.”

Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment.

Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings has been working to expand globally and add new content, some exclusive, to forestall competition. Amazon, Hulu LLC and other providers have been expanding their online streaming offerings in recent months.

Verizon Communications Inc., the second-largest U.S. phone carrier, said today it had formed a joint venture with Coinstar Inc. to compete beginning in the second half with Netflix in offering a video-streaming service.

Time Warner Inc.’s Home Box Office invested $10 million in Quickflix, an Australia-based online streaming service and DVD rental service, in exchange for a 15.7 percent stake, Quickflix said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Quickflix reported on Jan. 23 that it signed a content deal with HBO to stream more than 500 hours of content through its service, including television shows “Entourage,” “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos.” Quickflix had 94,097 subscribers as of the end of December.

--Editor: Anthony Palazzo

To contact the reporter on this story: Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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