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Netflix Coming to Aussie Pay-TV

16 Feb, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In advance of launching subscription streaming service in Australia, Netflix Feb. 16 announced it inked an integration deal with Fetch TV — a first for a pay-TV operator down under.

Under the deal, Fetch TV’s 170,000 broadband subscribers in Australia and New Zealand have direct access to Netflix via an app embedded in Fetch’s second-generation set-top boxes. Netflix service requires a separate subscription.

Netflix original programming available in Australia includes “Bloodline,” “Grace & Frankie” and “Marco Polo,” among others. Netflix officially bows service in the region (including New Zealand) March 31.

Fetch TV markets to subscribers a 1 terabyte digital video recorder with three digital tuners, a digital video store with 4,000 movies, and access to up to 38 subscription channels from major providers.

“Working with our ISP partners, iiNet, Optus and Dodo, Fetch TV has established itself as a disruptive force in the Australian entertainment market,’’ Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson said in a statement. “We have done this by offering a differentiated and compelling entertainment experience, at a very attractive price point.’’

Bill Holmes, head of business development at Netflix, said that when the service surveyed the Australian market, it was impressed by the Fetch TV service, unique business model, and the committed coalition of telecom partners.

“By partnering with Fetch TV, we are making it easy for TV fans and movie lovers to watch Netflix on their televisions,” Holmes said in a statement.

Indeed, should Fetch TV subs like Netflix, they can drop the pay-TV operator and subscribe singularly to Netflix beginning at the end of March. That scenario is why cable operators — notably Comcast and Time Warner Cable — have shied away from offering direct access to Netflix.

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