Netflix is currently engaged in discussions with a number of U.S. cable providers, which could lead to the online streaming service being added as an option to cable subscribers, perhaps as early as late 2012.

No deals have been made yet, but insiders claim that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been quietly meeting with top cable providers across the country, in hopes of adding the streaming service as a new option for cable subscribers through set-top boxes. A Netflix representative would not comment on these developments.

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One of the cable companies that doesn't seem to be interested in a Netflix partnership is Comcast, America's largest cable provider, which recently launched its own online streaming service dubbed Streampix for its subscribers.

Netflix has long been seen as a threat to the cable TV industry, with its $7.99 monthly unlimited streaming package that includes older and contemporary TV shows and movies. It is said that even if a deal is made, it will take several months for Netflix to rework its licensing deals.

Netflix will receive some additional competition with a new streaming venture by Verizon and Redbox later this year. Google, Amazon, and Apple are also working on their own streaming models.