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Foxtel In Talks With Netflix, As Demand for 4K TV Grows Ahead Of AFL, NRL Season Openers

Australians are taking to real time 4K TV with Foxtel, who are shortly set to announce that they have cut a deal with Netflix, reporting that they are more than 30% ahead on Q4 upgrade target.

Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany said the new boxes and the upgraded IQ4 had much higher “attachment” rates and lower churn than their predecessors, which had less storage and fewer features.

“So we really want to get as many of those IQ4 boxes out there as possible. And being proactive rather than reactive with our customers is a really big theme,” Mr Delany said.

ChannelNews can confirm that Foxtel subscribers could soon have the option to stream Netflix programs via a Foxtel box a move that will make the expanded Foxtel service attractive to a wider audience.

Currently Netflix management who are looking to stop churn and see Foxtel subscribers as being a “solid base of subscribers” have held talks with Foxtel management which could see the Netflix service which is currently built into several TV models from leading TV brands available on the new Q4 set top box which is also capable of streaming 4K Ultra High Definition content which Netflix has a large library of including several of their own drama series.

The service will appear as a button on the Foxtel remote.

The Netflix content such as The Crown and Black Mirror would be available alongside content such as Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies.

Netflix films would appear in the same streaming menu as the 1500 movie titles in FoxFlicks. The move comes as Apple gets set to take on Netflix with its own content offering which will be available in Australia via an app on Samsung TV’s.

According to the Australian a deal could be announced later this year if Foxtel follows the path of Sky TV in Britain, which in November began offering subscribers an integrated servic­e that puts Netflix films and television series alongside its own shows in a new streaming-style show selector.

Ahead of its season launch this weekend, Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany confirmed the companies had established a relationship with Netflix but declined to elaborate.

Delany recently told ChannelNews that he was extremly happy as to where the Company was at with their roll out of their new 4K Q4 box and that the start of the NRL and AFL season, which will see major games available in 4K set to accelerate demand for their 4K offering which is a vast improvement on the previous Q3 box.

Foxtel has previously followed Sky, the dominant British broadcaster formerly owned by its sister company, 21st Century Fox, including with the rollout of a version of the Sky Q set-top box, badged the IQ4 in Australia.

“We are creating a modern 21st century experience and I think the IQ4 experience really reduces the chances of anyone being able to say there is nothing on Foxtel because it is all discoverable, it is all in one place, and it is absolutely fantastic what you can watch, and you don’t get that from a linear channel,” Mr Delany said.

Since taking the top job at Foxtel following a merger with Fox Sports last year, Mr Delany has worked on an overhaul of strategy and technology to give customers a better experience and compete with streaming services.

A deal would mark a significant change of strategy for both companies, and help Foxtel, with its 2.9 million subscribers, keep up with a younger audience that has flocked to streaming services on mobile device­s.

Since taking over the merged Foxtel and Fox Sports last year, Mr Delany has been developing plans for Foxtel to become a “mega-aggregator” of content across sport, movies and drama.

He told The Weekend Australian the company had been working on a number of innovations that would be rolled out through the second half of the financi­al year. “This half is pretty critical because in the first half we built all of the pieces and in this half, we put them all together,” Mr Delany said.

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