Foxtel details launch of news streaming service Flash

Foxtel has revealed the launch of its long-rumoured news streaming service, confirming it will be called Flash and is set to go live in October with Kate De Brito at the helm as executive director.

Former editor-in-chief de Brito was been tapped by Foxtel in July, when media company confirmed to Mumbrella that it was examining the business case for a news streaming service.

At that time, James Law, who had been running News Corp’s Newswire offering, also moved across to work on the streaming service. News Corp Australia and Telstra are join owners of Foxtel.

Foxtel’s Flash goes live in October

Foxtel has now confirmed that Flash will go live next month, and will feature more than 20 local and global news sources. It joins entertainment streaming video on demand (SVOD) platform BINGE and sports SVOD service Kayo in the Foxtel stable.

Foxtel Group CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “We are excited to lock in our plans to launch Flash next month, the third streaming service we will have launched in as many years.

“These new streaming products are driving rapid growth in subscribers and revenue as we diversify our portfolio of entertainment brands and reinvent the Foxtel Group as Australia’s most dynamic streaming company.

“The number of Australian households with a streaming service is forecast to grow by almost 20% in the next four years, reaching 85% of all households, with each household expected to have between three and four SVOD subscriptions.

“Flash will ride this wave, offering news-hungry Australians a new way to stay informed about politics, business and local and international events.  We believe the product will tap into a growing demand for diverse, trusted news sources by making the best range of Australian and international 24-7 television news sources even more accessible.”

Delany added: “Flash won’t be what the market expects. It will be more than simply aggregating live channels.

“Our experience and technology platform gives us the ability to draw on successful Kayo features and innovations to provide an outstanding news experience for our subscribers.”

Kate de Brito will serve as executive editor of Flash

While Foxtel did not expand on the news sources to make up the content on Flash, it is expected to give subscribers access to live and on-demand news and opinion from Sky News Australia. There have also been suggestions it could also feature programming from Fox News and CNN.

Speaking with Mumbrella last month, Delany said there is definitely room for additional streaming services in the Australian market.

“If you combine what we have learnt from doing a live genre in streaming like Kayo, and a video on demand non-live through Binge, and what we know from 25 years in the subscription business, I think it’s safe to say there are more single genre streaming businesses or brands that we can launch,” he said.

Telstra’s annual report for FY 2021 reported record subscriber growth for Foxtel, with paid streaming subscribers increasing 155% to over 2 million. According to Telstra, the “exceptional subscriber growth has Foxtel, and our investment in Foxtel, well positioned for the future”.

News Corp’s streaming video on demand (SVOD) services saw growth of US$188 million, or 10% growth for the financial year ending 30 June, 2021.

That was driven by a significant increase in Foxtel’s paid subscriber numbers, which increased 40% to 3.891 million, largely fuelled by growing numbers on Binge and Kayo.

Foxtel also said further details will be made available on 30 September at the Foxtel Group Strategy Day.


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