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Virgin Media becomes the first cable operator to embrace Netflix

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Virgin Media TiVo
Virgin Media TiVo

The UK's Virgin Media is to begin rolling out Netflix to its customers. According to a report from BBC News, Virgin will send out invitations to pilot Netflix to some 40,000 customers before eventually rolling the app out to all users of its TiVo boxes. The move is at odds with others in the industry, who have generally shunned services that are viewed as competitive with their own. Although the Wall Street Journal suggests otherwise, BBC News says Virgin Media may offer Netflix subscriptions to its customers as part of a bundle with its own services. The company offers a similar bundle already, allowing customers to pay for Spotify access as part of their monthly subscription.

If you've been following the fate of the US-owned Virgin Media, though, today's news won't come as a huge surprise. Since being bought out by Liberty Global, Virgin Media has been more open to getting streaming companies on board. In March, the company's CEO told Bloomberg Virgin would try to "get hold of every content asset we possibly can" for TiVo, explaining that the industry "has a far greater chance of succeeding if we work together and embrace over-the-top services." Virgin Media already offers access to YouTube through TiVo, and has expressed an interest in bringing the Amazon-owned LoveFilm to the box as well.