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Foxtel Heading For Major Makeover, More Sport, Local Drama & Female Presenters

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Foxtel is heading for a major makeover under new boss Patrick Delany, sport, female presenters and local drama is set to be some of the ingredients used to carve out a new future for the under siege

[Patrick Delany left]

ChannelNews understands that several consumer electronic brands that can deliver Foxtel content to a screen are keen to partner with the local streaming Company who are looking to cut costs as they move to expand their content portfolio in a bid to take on the likes of Stan and Netflix and the bigger threat of Amazon, Google and Apple who are all looking to grow their content revenue in Australia.

The newly merged group which observers claim is worth between $6 billion-$7bn, has 2.8 million subscribers and $917 million in annual revenues.

The big problem for Foxtel is that the subscriptions that are growing are sub $25. In their heyday when they had a monopoly on subscription content consumers were paying upwards of $100.

Today their line-up includes the streaming service Foxtel Now which recently went on sale at JB Hi Fi via a Foxtel Now streaming box.

News Corp hold a 65 per cent shareholding in the combined entity, with Telstra now reduced to 35 per cent.

Patrick Delany whose appointment ChannelNews exclusively tipped is an experienced operator who relishes competition.

Currently he is negotiating access rights to Australian Cricket and he is keen to strip the English Premier League Back from Optus after Foxtel had the rights stripped away from them almost three years ago.

Recently Foxtel shareholders News Corp and Telstra signed an agreement to combine Foxtel and Fox Sports, the deal could be finalised as soon as this week.

UBS analyst Tom Beadle told News Corporation publication The Australian: “It’s difficult to quantify the cost-out opportunities arising from the Fox Sports and Foxtel merger given we do not know how much revenue and cost transfers there are between each business.

“However, we understand there is duplication of production and other overheads that can be eliminated if Foxtel and Fox Sports merge.”

Delany, the former CEO of Fox Sports, is a shrewd operator who knows that one of the unlock keys to growing revenues is sport.

The Australian said recently that Delany aims to further ­enhance Foxtel’s capability to ­deploy in-home and out-of-home digital platforms and fend off rivals with plans to launch new a la carte streaming services to deliver sports, drama, movies and entertainment direct to consumers.

Mr Delany also plans to invest millions more in original programming. Only last week Fox Sports announced it would increase coverage of women’s sport to unprecedented levels in 2018.

Sixteen sport shows will be hosted by female presenters with four times more coverage on Fox Sports and Foxtel than all the free-to-air networks combined.

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