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Suddenlink strikes deal to offer Netflix on cable boxes

By Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Suddenlink, which has 1.2 million TV subscribers, became the largest U.S. cable operator to carry Netflix on its cable boxes, the cable company said on Tuesday.

Suddenlink said it is the seventh-largest cable operator in the United States, serving customers in states such as North Carolina, Texas and Louisiana.

The news comes two weeks after three smaller U.S. cable operators became the first to carry Netflix on set-top boxes provided by TiVo, including RCN. Suddenlink said that starting this summer it will have Netflix on the cable boxes that it provides to customers through an agreement with TiVO.

Netflix has been negotiating with cable providers for months about the company's desire for its streaming service to have a presence on set-top boxes, which it believes will help retain and win new subscribers.

Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings has said he would like to link up with other providers including Comcast Corp , which has more than 22 million video subscribers and is seeking regulatory approval for a $45 billion bid for No. 2 operator Time Warner Cable Inc.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Ken Wills)