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Foxtel to Offer Online TV at SVOD Pricing

7 Sep, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Aussie pay-TV service looking to ‘revolutionize’ industry down under while countering Netflix

Australian pay-TV provider Foxtel in December will launch online TV bundles targeting subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Stan, Presto, Quickflix and YouTube Red.

Foxtel, which is 50% owned by former 21st Century Fox unit News Corp., has 2.8 million subscribing households.

Speaking Sept. 6 at the 2016 ASTRA confab in Sydney, CEO Peter Tonagh said SVOD service Foxtel Play would create five entry-level tiers, including two options for drama, one for lifestyle, documentary and one for kids. Customers will also be able to subscribe to separate sports and movie tiers.

The undisclosed pricing will be based on content choices and whether consumers have streaming media devices and broadband.

“Our new flexible pricing and delivery will mean that even more Australians will be able to design a subscription that works for them and once they experience what we have to offer, we’re confident they’ll be hungry for more,” said Tonagh.

The move comes as more Australians — for the first time — have SVOD (28%) than pay-TV (27%), according to Roy Morgan Research. About 1.4 million Aussie homes have SVOD, with 60% market share controlled by Netflix.

"Foxtel’s long-term strength will, as Mr Tonagh noted, be in offering live sport and linear programming, including premium content sourced through its deal with HBO. However, as more Australians choose to access content on demand, Foxtel will need to find creative ways to straddle both markets — which appeal to quite different people, with different budgets, tastes and habits," Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan Research, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Foxtel is reportedly working with Roku on a branded low-cost streaming device to help facilitate rollout of online TV. It also announced a new agreement with HBO that will give Foxtel subs access to more HBO programming as well as “Game of Thrones.”

“IP customers will be able to directly access series like ‘Thrones’ through a significantly lower cost entry package,” Tonagh said. “The new [online TV] packages will initially be available to customers who bring their own [streaming] device.”


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