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Fetch TV Cuddles Up To Nine, As Foxtel Confirm Binge & Big Numbers

Things must tough at Fetch TV when they have to give the owners of their archrival an exclusive story relating to viewing on the Nine Network to get publicity.

Fetch TV unlike Foxtel who has News Corp in their Corner and Stan who has Nine Media and Nine Entertainment spruiking their content have taken to giving exclusive stories to the Australian Financial Review in an effort to get publicity.

It was only last week that everyone was being told that Amazon Prime Video is now on Fetch TV, this is a service that’s already on Samsung and LG TV’s.

This week Fetch TV is telling the AFR that News and current affairs and reality TV shows are driving increasing viewing during the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by Fetch, Foxtel is claiming the same big increases.

There was no mention of how many people are actually using the Fetch TV service which has more than 700,000 subscribers during the COVID-19 lockdown, but they did report that the free-to-air viewing numbers capture live and recorded viewing on Fetch’s personal video recorder set-top box.

Free-to-air broadcasted video-on-demand (BVOD) services are also up strongly.

According to data collected over roughly the past three weeks, free-to-air viewing has increased around 30 minutes a day, subscription video-on-demand is up around 20 minutes a day and pay TV channel viewing is up around 10 minutes a day. Movies, which includes rentals and purchases, are up 70 per cent.

The spin piece came on the same day that Foxtel boss Patrick Delany confirmed to the Australian newspaper that the News Corp controlled company will launch its new entertainment streaming service within the next four to six weeks up against Stan and Fetch TV.

Foxtel also announced today that the SBS On Demand app would be available to its customers with the iQ3 or iQ4 set top box from tomorrow.

The content provider claims that the move broadens Foxtel’s already significant streaming footprint and means customers now have access to content from three of Australia’s most popular streaming providers, Netflix, ABC and SBS via Foxtel. Fetch TV also has all three apps in their Catch Up TV service.

Foxtel and other subscription services have received a huge rating boost during the pandemic and Mr Delany believes the time will be beneficial for the new service which, like Kayo, will focus on subscribers who don’t already have Foxtel.

“Viewership on Foxtel is up 25 per cent on this time last year so we know that a product carefully targeted at the 70 per cent of Australians who don’t have Foxtel is going have extra relevance as ­people settle in at home supporting social isolation measures,” Mr Delany said.

As well as a 25 per cent increase in total viewing, as of April 11 movie viewing was up 108 per cent while Sky News is up almost 100 per cent.

Foxtel networks were up 36 per cent, with the Comedy Channel and BoxSets the most popular

A new lot of HBO content is expected to be released on the new Binge service.

Like the free to air networks Foxtel and other subscription services have received a huge ratings boost during the pandemic and Mr Delany believes the time will be beneficial for the new service which, like Kayo, will focus on subscribers who don’t already have Foxtel.

“Viewership on Foxtel is up 25 per cent on this time last year so we know that a product carefully targeted at the 70 per cent of Australians who don’t have Foxtel is going have extra relevance as ­people settle in at home supporting social isolation measures,” Mr Delany said.

As well as a 25 per cent increase in total viewing, as of April 11 movies viewing is up 108 per cent while Sky News is up almost 100 per cent. Foxtel networks were up 36 per cent, with the Comedy Channel and BoxSets the most popular.

Delany told the OZ, the market was ready for a new streaming service, with the platform designed and operated by the same team that brought Foxtel into sports streaming with Kayo.

“Our new service is going to deliver something quite unique to Australians who want outstanding entertainment with a fresh new user experience,” he said.

Fetch who sells their Mighty and Mini boxes at mass retailers such as JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman also have relationships with carriers such as Optus and NBN broadband providers, has more than 700,000 subscribers, broadcasts free-to-air television, has SVOD apps for Stan, Netflix, Optus Sport and Amazon Prime Video, as well as a range of pay channels.

Like Foxtel they are reporting that overall household viewing is up over an hour a day during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Fetch’s customers who use its larger Mighty box, with PVR, watching 6.5 hours a day, and its smaller Mini box, without PVR, watching 5.5 hours a day.

“Fetch plays an important role in the media ecosystem. As a master aggregator, we are the principle TV service for 7 per cent of Australian households, and we generate over $150 million per annum in revenue for our content partners,” Mr Lorson said.

“Fetch carries over 100 pay TV channels, and we have longstanding partnerships with Netflix, Stan, Ten All Access and Hayu. We are now in the process of rolling out Amazon Prime Video, with several other Tier 1 apps planned for this year.

“Fetch views Foxtel as a potential content partner not a competitor and have offered to integrate their branded channels and apps on the platform. For our content partners, Fetch offers access to a large and highly engaged subscriber base, and a proven ability to generate tens of millions in incremental revenue.”

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