The planned expansion of Netflix into the Australian market is one which they may not be as confident in after recent revelations, namely that “at least five” of the major content providers in the country have refused to sell the American company any rights.
The denial of acquisitions are believed to have been orchestrated by a new service announcement from local telecommunications giants Foxtel, who have announced the impending launch of their triple-play subscription package to arrive late next year.
This news arrives after successful talks between joint owners Telstra and News Corp. Australia, with the pair’s latest development set to be one that is primarily ‘entertainment-led’, and will contribute to what is being described as a ‘huge’ potential year of 2014 for the brand, with the intention of launching a 1TB version of their ‘iQ3 set-top box’, as well as offering users a chance to ‘consolidate’ broadband/TV/telephone services through their separate pay-TV provider.
The triple-play option, proposed as a ‘direct rival’ of current market leaders such as Fetch TV (from Telstra rivals Optus, iiNet, and TPG), will be planned by executives as a way to reduce ‘churn’ of subscribers, with current Australian take-up rates of Foxtel currently standing at ‘around 30%’.
While Foxtel will be keeping a look out on the performances of rivals who enter new services to the market before they do, one which they may have to worry less about is Netflix’s high-profile brand, as Foxtel’s CEO Richard Freudenstein claimed in an interview to Smarthouse that: “…at least five of the major studios have not given Netflix the rights to deliver content in Australia. We’re very optimistic for what [our triple-play service] will mean for both our existing customers and new customer acquisition.”
With those rights expected to be more open for local providers to take on, primarily Foxtel, could the Australian dream for the American company be over before it has even begun, or could their presumably guaranteed American content selection help them maintain a strong challenge?