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Netflix Hints at Future With Apple TV Deal

Tickers in this article: NFLX CMCSA AAPL TWX
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Netflix(NFLX) is teaming up with Apple(AAPL) to enable customers to sign up for its services via Apple TV and pay through iTunes.

Netflix announced on its company blog today that it would let users who purchase the third generation of the Apple TV to sign up for its services directly through the set-top box.

There have been reports that Netflix is quietly working with cable companies to bring its streaming service to their cable offerings. The story was first reported by Reuters. That would put Netflix in direct competition with HBO, owned by Time Warner(TWX) , if it happens.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had hinted about the deal at a recent investor conference. "It's not in the short term, but it's in the natural direction for us in the long term," Hastings said at the conference, according to Reuters. "Many (cable service providers) would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO."

Comcast(CMCSA) recently announced its own streaming service to compete with Netflix, known as Streampix. Streampix will cost $4.99 per month, compared with $8 for Netflix.

With Apple, customers can pay via their iTunes account, the first time Netflix has passed off billing duties to a third party.

Netflix shares closed down 1.8% to $105.19, Apple shares were up 0.3% to $531.99.

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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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