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NBC Universal Bows SVOD Service for Largest Aussie Pay-TV Operator

7 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

NBC Universal International June 6 made available upstart reality TV-based subscription streaming service “hayu” to Foxtel pay-TV subscribers down under.

Launched in March, “hayu” features a catalog of more than 3,000 reality TV episodes, including “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “The Real Housewives, “Million Dollar Listing” and “Top Chef,” along with series “I Am Cait,” “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Made In Chelsea” and “Shahs of Sunset,” among others.

The streaming service, which costs £3.99 in the U.K., €4.99 in Ireland and $5.99 in Australia, is available free to Foxtel subs who also subscribe to the “Entertainment Plus” package. Streaming users will have day-and-date access with many of the shows’ U.S. broadcasts. In addition, “hayu” offers binge-viewing of past episodes — from the beginning. It also enables posting short-form clips from select shows on viewers’ social media platforms.

“Through this collaboration with [Foxtel] in this market, we are one step closer to our goal of enabling the widest possible audience of reality fans to access this immersive SVOD service on the broad range of devices they use daily,” Hendrik McDermott, SVP of branded on-demand for NBC Universal International, said in a statement.

Indeed, NBC Universal, which is owned by Comcast, is slowly bridging the streaming divide. Last year it launched “seeso,” a comedy show-based SVOD service.

Foxtel, which is co-owned by News Corp. and Telstra, is upping its battle against SVOD in Australia, notably global brand Netflix. With a mandate from Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch to level the SVOD playing with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Fox has upped content spending at Hulu in the Untied States (which it co-owns with Disney and Comcast), while slashing streaming prices down under.

“Foxtel and NBC Universal have a longstanding relationship [with] unscripted programming. The availability of ‘hayu’ to our subscribers at no extra cost is another great value-add to a Foxtel subscription,” said Brian Walsh, executive director of television for Foxtel.

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