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Foxtel Now, Dead, New 4K UHD Service Coming, Cricket Launch

A controversial cricket match between Australia and South Africa in Perth on November 4th is set to kick start a new Foxtel 4K streaming era and the roll out of new services for the big content Company who are under pressure on several fronts as demand for streaming content intensifies.

Code named Project Martian the new offering which is tipped to not be branded Foxtel, will see 4K Ultra High Definition TV sports streamed to a mobile device, the cost will be $19.95 a month, initially there was suggestions that the service could cost as high as $25 a month. There will also be a new entertainment service.

Foxtel executives including owners News Corp and Telstra recently have given the green light to a major revamp of its streaming offering in an effort to differentiate itself from Netflix and Stan.

Foxtel is also expected to announce a new entertainment SVOD service, known internally as Project Jupiter, as part of sweeping changes to its streaming strategy.

The AFR Said that the new services are unlikely to carry Foxtel branding and are expected to supersede the SVOD service Foxtel Now, which could be phased out altogether. Foxtel Now was launched last year by then chief executive Peter Tonagh, however, it has failed to gain traction because the pricing and service has basically been in line with the pay TV giant’s linear cable subscription service.

Patrick Delany, who was Fox Sports boss and now Foxtel CEO, until the merger of the two earlier this year, was not a big fan of the rebranding of Foxtel’s streaming service to Foxtel Now last year, believing it created brand confusion and didn’t properly leverage the portfolio of content the News Corp-controlled pay TV provider has amassed.

As we exclusively tipped, Delany called in firm McKinsey & Co in an effort to better understand where there was opportunity for Foxtel.

Foxtel executives understand they need to rethink its traditional wall-garden approach to maximise the value of the content rights it owns with many consumers believing Foxtel is expensive and limited in what it can deliver. Currently they have under 30% of the market and are struggling to grow.

News Corporation, which owns 65 per cent of the merged Foxtel-Fox Sports entity, which is internally being called Fox Co, will report its full-year results on Friday which is when the market will get to know whether Delany has been able to grow subscriptions.

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