Foxtel announces Presto launch date and two Disney channels

Foxtel Disney channelsFoxtel has announced a launch date for its streaming service Presto of March 13, and said it will cost users $19.99 per month to use the service which allows them to stream Foxtel movies.

This morning CEO Richard Freudenstein also announced the company has signed a new deal with Disney and will launch two new Disney channels on April 10,at the annual Australian Broadcasting Digital Media Summit this morning.

Foxtel will also roll out its updated set top box the iQ3 later this year, and launch Triple Play of TV, broadband a phone services, which Freudenstein said is expected to be a “step-change” for Foxtel as it lets viewers record three shows at once and opens “new opportunities for revenue growth”.

Foxtel Movies Disney will feature classic Disney films and recent releases delivered ad-break free to subscribers in HD through the Foxtel premium drama and movies package, as well as be available on demand, Foxtel Play and Foxtel Go.

The second channel, Disney XD, will feature content for boys aged six to 14 with an “exciting mix” of live-action, sport, and animation “inspiring action”, Freudenstein said. Disney XD will be sold through Foxtel’s kids and music package and through Foxtel Go.

Richard Freudenstein

Richard Freudenstein

“We’re really excited to add Disney to the ever increasing list of content brands on the Foxtel platform. We can now boast that Foxtel is the home of live and high-definition sport, the home of the best movies, the home of HBO and BBC First will be the home of all the best and freshest from the BBC,” he told the conference at Sydney’s Technology Park.

Presto will offer a monthly pass to the online platform of Foxtel’s database of movies for an initial cost of $4.99 per month and then $19.99 per month thereafter and it will be accessible on iPads, Apple Macs and PCs.

“Australian movie lovers will have access to as many movies as they want from a massive library of cinematic hits for a price per week equivalent to what they would pay for just one standard iTunes movie rental,” he said.

“We know Australians want many different ways to experience great entertainment and Presto adds to that accessibility. Once more, unlike other similar services, we can guarantee fresh access to the best movies from all the major studios and key independents. Last year that meant 198 out of the top 200 cinema releases in Australia.”

Foxtel is also planning to draw on the massive international following for Game of Thrones by making it more widely accessible during the fourth season from its launch on April 7. Viewers will be able to see the show on the digital app Foxtel Play through an entry-tier movies and drama package priced at $35 per month, or purchase Showcase as a standalone channel during the series run. Existing customers can access the Foxtel Play offering for $10 a month, Freudenstein said, where they will also be able to see previous seasons of the show.

“This is a truly iconic show with a massive international following,” Freudenstein said. “In recognition of its popularity and to ensure as many people as possible watch the show we’ve decided to make a special season long offer on Foxtel Play.

“In recognition of its popularity and to ensure as many people as possible watch the show we’ve decided to make a special season long offer on Foxtel Play.

“There will be no lock in contracts, but of course it will mean not only access to Game of Thrones but all the other great drama on at the time including House of Cards and Girls, True Detectives, Boardwalk Empire and others.”

The strategy will set Foxtel up for a competitive market as it develops both content and technology to give consumers the shows they want, when they want, on the device they prefer, Freudenstein said.

He expects to see strong continued growth through its IP services Foxtel Play and T Box and more specialised opportunities open up through products like Presto.

“I’m convinced there is plenty of scope for growth in our core business as consumer confidence returns and we continue to communicate the value of our offer,” he said.

“I’ve also said we will grow different segments with different products and we’re starting to do just that. The trick is to grow them all.”

Megan Reynolds


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