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Quickflix Aborts Chinese Acquisition

24 Aug, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

NBC licenses content to SVOD rival Presto

Quickflix, the fiscally challenged Australia/New Zealand movie rental and subscription streaming service, has backed away from acquiring an unnamed Chinese media company.

“Based on due diligence of the Shanghai-based and advice received in relation to Chinese regulations and restrictions, Quickflix has decided that it will not be proceeding with the acquisition,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

Media companies in Australia have been challenged since the arrival of Netflix in March, which reportedly had hundreds of thousands paying for the service via VPNs located abroad in the United States and elsewhere.

For Quickflix, the first disc and streaming service down under, the action marks the second aborted deal following its exit from a pact with Foxtel to distribute the latter’s nascent subscription streaming service, Presto.

Quickflix reported a 13% decline in paying subs for the fiscal quarter ended June 30. Revenue fell 15% to $4.2 million (Australian), resulting in a loss of $8.6 million. Perth-based Quickflix ended the quarter with 108,000 paying subs (121,000 total), which includes disc subs. Netflix reportedly has about 1.9 million subs.

Regardless, the company remains upbeat, saying distribution of content in China is a “significant opportunity,” and that it is continuing to develop a Chinese strategy.

Separately, Presto announced a content license agreement with NBC Universal for select episodic programming, including “Heroes,” “Grimm,” “30 Rock,” “Bates Motel” and “Parks and Recreation,” among others.

“NBC Universal is a prolific producer of quality content and we are delighted to be able to offer [our] subscribers some of the most iconic shows, including comedies “Mrs. Brown’s Boys,” Shaun James, director of Presto, said in a statement.

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