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Streaming News and Sports: The Future Of Foxtel

The future is streaming, and Foxtel are setting themselves up to thrive in this competitive arena, according to CEO Patrick Delany.

The Foxtel Group held its inaugural Strategy Day today, to “update the investment community on its growth and transformation” and to outline its three-year plan, which sees the company focus on streaming in a big way, as it seeks to navigate the move from cable to digital.

Key to Foxtel’s continued growth is the launch of news subscription service Flash, offering key television and movie properties through Binge, and the success of sports streaming service Kayo.

 

Foxtel has enjoyed a mammoth few years, with the launch of entertainment streaming service Binge in May 2020, and sports service Kayo Sports towards the end of 2018 seeing its overall subscriber base swell to over four million.

The key to succeeding in the crowded streaming world is, obviously, customer retention.

As Julian Ogrin, CEO of Kayo Sports and Binge, explained this morning, Kayo’s appeal may be seasonal to some (for example, cricket fans). However, he has found that subscribers tend to pause their subs during the off-season, rather than cancelling outright.

He also outlined how Binge tends to drag people in with the new releases not available elsewhere, such as Succession, who then stay for the library.

Flash is set to launch “in a few weeks”, and offers up a highly flexible news streaming offering, the first of its kind in Australia.

CNN, BBC, CNBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera and Sky News and over a dozen other news outlets will be combined to provide a single live news service, which offers split view, the ability to curate and filter based on channels, topics, or categories.

It also won’t have a political agenda, offering a wide variety of channels, and allowing you to personalise your feed.

CEO Patrick Delaney explains Flash is “putting consumers in charge of their own news preferences. It presents a ­diversity of news sources, and people can seek out what they want.

“We’re not going to change any of the editorial context of these news brands. The whole point is to put them in the one place, fairly, in front of Australia.

“It will be more than simply aggregating live channels. Our experience and technology platform gives us the ability to draw on successful Kayo features and innovations to provide an outstanding news experience for our subscribers.

“This is about putting consumers in charge – you can go down whichever news avenues you want.”

The launch of iQ5 allowing for cable without satellite dishes (or, indeed, without cables) will also cause subscriber numbers to rise further.

The move to streaming has been a success so far. Foxtel posted its best financials for FY21 in over eight years, and over half its customer are streamers.

 

Foxtel has also outlined its three-year financial goals, which include reaching 5 million plus subscribers, hitting approximately $3 billion in revenue, with “continued opportunities for margin expansion, supported by streaming revenue growth, continuing to slow the decline in residential broadcast revenue and ongoing cost transformation through digital growth and operational efficiencies.”

“Today’s Foxtel Group is a very different company to the one-product Foxtel of three or four years ago,” Delany notes.

“The business has been repositioned as a technology-led streaming company, with multiple sources of revenue growth from streaming, a strengthened Foxtel Retail offering, and growth in digital advertising.”

 

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