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Comcast will let you watch Netflix like a regular cable channel

The deal with the No. 1 US cable company is the biggest Netflix has ever scored.

Netflix will be integrated into Comcast's high-tech pay-TV service, X1, this year.
Claire Reilly/CNET

Comcast customers later this year will be able to watch Netflix shows or movies just like they would click to see a regular channel.

The two companies said Tuesday they have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, Comcast's high-tech pay-TV service. They said the service will be available to cable customers this year and they'll provide more details at that time.

In theory, X1 users could flip to an episode of Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black" seamlessly from the same interface where they pick from selections of live TV, video on demand or remote DVRs. They'd likely get search results for items on Netflix if the same content is on regular channels too. That kind of integration would eliminate the extra steps of jumping over to Netflix's app on a streaming box like Apple TV or Roku.

Now playing: Watch this: Netflix is coming to your Comcast cable box this year

For Netflix, getting on Comcast's video platform is a coup, as it will instantly increase its potential subscriber base to customers of the country's No. 1 cable operator. Netflix has scored similar deals with pay-TV operators before, going back to its first such partnership in 2013 with the UK's Virgin Media. But never before has Netflix reached an agreement with a US company near the size of Comcast, the biggest pay-TV provider behind satellite service AT&T's DirecTV.

Netflix and Comcast have been outspoken adversaries in the past. The streaming service was the first major company to publicly oppose Comcast's plan to merge with Time Warner Cable, an effort that regulators eventually blocked.

The news was reported earlier by Recode.