Through the deal, Telstra will invest approximately $50 million, including provisions for onboarding Telstra TV customers on Fetch.
Telstra has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Fetch as the new platform for Telstra TV and to develop Telstra’s home and entertainment proposition further.
Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson said Fetch had achieved scale and profitability thanks to an attractive proposition and distribution partnerships with leading Australian telcos and retailers.
Telstra bought a 51 percent stake in content aggregation company Fetch TV for $50 million as it battles Google and Apple to dominate living rooms.
With Telstra on board, Fetch is now well-positioned to deliver a home and entertainment proposition with the scale to enable us to partner with global content and streaming providers.
Telstra TV is operating on a platform from American equipment maker Roku, but the deal between the two companies is expiring. Fetch is a long-term content provider to rival telcos, including Optus and Vocus.
Telstra Group Product and Technology Director Kim Krogh Andersen said Telstra TV was launched in 2015 with a focus on connecting a wide variety of streaming services to our customers. It currently has approximately 800,000 active subscribers on the Roku platform.
“Telstra TV has been successful and popular in Australian homes because it provides an easy way to discover and watch content from streaming services and free-to-air, and is a key platform for Foxtel streaming services, Kayo, Binge and Flash”, he says. Mr. Krogh Andersen.
“While the current Telstra TV product remains popular, the underlying technology platform needs to evolve to support a deeper level of engagement through content offerings, account management, and rewards through Telstra Plus. It should also support future entertainment options and be delivered through the hardware options customers want, including smart TVs,” said Krogh Andersen.
“After a strategic assessment of our options, we chose to Fetch TV for its ability to deliver this functionality at scale to our customers, given Fetch’s software development capability, innovative roadmap, and strong track record of providing capacity for other Australian telco partners.
“Becoming a trusted partner in the house remains an important growth opportunity for Telstra. As homes become more digitally connected, integrating that technology — including the Smart Modem, smart meter, and a media streaming platform that can also be used for AR, VR, and the metaverse — will become even more important,” Anderson said.
“While they all do different things, if they can work together seamlessly, they will help customers get the most out of their connectivity. That’s why Telstra is investing in an ‘open’ technology platform, and we have access to an onshore team that can deliver a relevant product roadmap for Telstra and telcos,” he said.
Fetch TV currently has approximately 670,000 active subscribers through its relationships with Australian Retail Service Providers (RSP).
There are currently no plans to bring Foxtel’s Kayo Sports and Binge streaming services to the Fetch TV platform (Telstra TV customers now have access to these apps). However, people close to the deal said it was something they would try to work out before Telstra TV passed.
Fetch was launched in Australia in 2008 by Malaysian telco Astro, which owns 80 percent of the company. It sells internet-connected set-top boxes that give customers access to a wide variety of content, including streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video (subscriptions to these services have yet to be purchased).
On May 25, 2010, Fetch TV announced they would begin offering their first-generation set-top box PVRs through partner iiNet. This included three digital tuners to receive Australian terrestrial channels, fourteen linear subscription channels and six Video on Demand-based channels.
On July 21, they added five international news channels to the subscription channel package.
Fetch generated $10 million in revenue (before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) last fiscal year.
The transaction is subject to ACCC approval and other customary closing conditions.
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