Advanced Television

Virgin plans Australian Netflix-beater

March 10, 2014

By Colin Mann

A consortium with links to Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is investigating partnerships with some of Australia’s major television ­networks to launch an SVoD service over ­broadband aimed at pre-empting the expected arrival of US giant Netflix, reports the Australian Finance Review.

It is also understood that cinema chain Hoyts Group has held preliminary discussions with Seven West Media regarding potential collaboration on an online VoD service.

Hoyts announced plans in September 2012 to launch online streaming service Hoyts Stream in the first quarter of 2013, but it has been delayed until 2014.

Foxtel, owned by News Corp and Telstra, confirmed late February that its OTT movie streaming service Presto would be available from March 13th. The service was announced in September 2013 with the intention of launching by the end of the year, but technical glitches delayed its introduction.

The Presto launch is similarly seen as a pre-emptive strike against mooted similar initiatives by Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment and any possible launch by Netflix. It will also better equip Foxtel to compete with IPTV players such as Quickflix and Fetch TV.

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