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Is Foxtel talking to Netflix?


Foxtel has several big announcements up their sleeve, one is Fox Sports News streamed live to a TV screen during games. The other could be even bigger.

Subscription streaming platform Netflix has joined forces with British satellite broadcaster Sky which is owned by 21st Century Fox which News Corporation has a shareholding this is the same Company that owns over 60% of Foxtel.

18 months ago, when Foxtel launched their Foxtel Now streaming service there was talk that they would cut a deal with Netflix. It never happened. Now there is speculation that another Netflix deal is being ironed out.

What Sky in the UK has done is create a new integrated experience that lets user directly access content from both platforms on the same interface. The service will go live in November.

According to John Archer who writes for SmartHouse, Sky is actually building Netflix into its subscription pricing options.

Sky will introduce two different Netflix-including package options: Ultimate on Demand and Sky Q Entertainment. The first of these will cost $18 a month and give you access to: Sky box sets in HD; two streams on Sky Go; downloads of Sky content; a Netflix Standard subscription; two simultaneous Netflix streams; HD video; downloads to devices where the content allows it.

The new UOD package will be available on a 31-day rolling contract basis; you won’t be required to lock yourself into the package for, say, a minimum of six or 12 months.

The Q Experience, meanwhile, costs another $20 on top of the UOD offering, and additionally provides: streaming to Sky Q Mini boxes; side loading (shifting downloads between devices); 4K/UHD video support with Sky shows; a Netflix Premium subscription; four simultaneous Netflix streams; and support for Netflix’s 4K UHD streams.

Archer said that Where the Netflix/Sky partnership really gets interesting, is in the way Sky is integrating Netflix content into its onscreen user interface.

Rather than having to open a separate Netflix app to find links to Netflix content, recommendations for both Sky’s broadcast and Netflix’s streamed shows will share the spotlight on Sky Q’s homepage. Choose a Netflix show from Sky’s menus and the stream will start playing right away; choose a Sky-hosted show and it will start to download to your receiver for playback.

Foxtel has not commented for this story.

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