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Netflix said to be seeking cable TV partner

The video giant is rumored to be in talks with cable companies to offer online movie streaming as an option through TV set-top boxes.

Netflix might be looking to step up its game as competition with HBO and other service providers heats up.

The video streaming giant is looking to partner with a cable company that would bundle online movie streaming with its other offerings, according to Reuters.

The news service reports that sources familiar with the matter say that Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings has been stealthily meeting with a few of the largest U.S. cable companies the past few weeks to discuss how a deal might work. This partnership could come as soon as the end of the year, according to Reuters.

Competition between Netflix and HBO has been on the rise the past few months. In January, HBO stopped providing DVDs of its shows to the video streaming giant and in February it invested in the Australian version of Netflix called Quickflix. Meanwhile, Netflix debuted a TV series similar to HBO's TV show the "Sopranos," called "Lilyhammer," and reportedly plans to launch other streaming shows later this year.

Besides HBO, Netflix is also facing competition from Apple, Google, Comcast, and Amazon, which are working on their own online video streaming plans. On top of that, Verizon announced it was partnering with Redbox to also offer a video streaming service due later this year.

If Netflix does partner with a cable company, the video streaming service could become available to cable subscribers as another option to use through their set-top boxes, Reuters notes. However, even if Hastings strikes a deal soon, the actual logistics may still take awhile because of having to rearrange licensing deals with programmers and contracts.

Netflix did not immediately return request for comment.