Foxtel Heads Into NRL & AFL Season After Record Cricket, New iQ5 Box Coming
Foxtel is heading into the NRL season with a record cricket season behind them and a new iQ5 set top box set to be launched this year.
The News Corp owned streaming Company has seen demand for Kayo surge 54% and cricket viewing up 43% with the last dramatic test in Brisbane now the most watched Test Series ever on Foxtel with analysts tipping record audiences for their 2021 NRL and ARL season coverage.
As free to air networks struggle for content Foxtel’s dominant position in the sports arena appears to be paying off with the business reporting that the daily average for the recent cricket was 371,000 up 43 per cent on the last series between the two nations in 2018/19.
Foxtel who are currently building out a new network that will see more content delivered over an IP network are confident that the recent cuts at the network have not affected their ability according to CEO Patrick Delany who is tipping a big 2021 with analysts expecting that demand for sports coverage will grow this year due to restrictions on travel and more people staying at home during COVID-19.
Fox Sports executive director Steve Crawley says the highly anticipated Test series proved very popular with sports fans and followed on from the strong ratings for the One Day International and T20 matches between Australia and India in November.
“India’s tour was one for the ages. The quality of cricket has been outstanding, we have seen established stars at the top of their game, new heroes emerge, and our multicultural nation has loved it,” he told the News Corp owned Australian.
“We saw the ODI and T20 series break records, and after two months of cricket, it’s clear the nation could not get enough with new subscription television records set throughout the Test Series.”
Free-to-air television broadcaster Seven Network said its coverage of the entire Test series attracted a total audience of 10.8 million.
Insiders are tipping that the new iQ5 box will be smaller and faster than previous Foxtel set top boxes due to innovations in processors and hard drives.
The business is also set to take advantage of a surge in demand for streamed content with new services also tipped in 2021.