NBC Universal and Foxtel agree to provide Hayu free to Foxtel subscribers

NBC Universal and Foxtel have announced a deal in which its subscription video on-demand service service Hayu will be given free to Foxtel subscribers.

Hayu barHayu, a SVOD services focused on reality content for a female genre, launched in February, the announcement drawing the ire of Foxtel who warned NBC Universal that its decision to go direct to local consumers would result in Foxtel paying less for much of the NBC Universal content which the pay-TV operator airs on E! and other reality channels.

At the time of launch senior executives at NBC Universal played down the competitive risk to pay-TV operator Foxtel but it appears the two have reached a deal that allows Foxtel residential subscribers, whose subscription package includes the channel E! Entertainment Television, to receive free access to the new streaming service as part of their existing Foxtel subscription.

Hendrik McDermott, senior vice president – branded on-demand, NBCUniversal International, said: “Having only just launched in Australia in March, we are delighted to now make Hayu directly available to Foxtel subscribers.

“Through this collaboration with our long-term platform partner in this market, we are one step closer to our goal of enabling the widest possible audience of reality fans to access this immersive SVOD service on the broad range of devices they use daily.”

Brian Walsh, executive director of television, Foxtel said: “Foxtel has an incredible collection of hit reality shows across our channels Arena, E!, Style and Lifestyle YOU.

“Foxtel and NBC Universal have a long-standing relationship that has enjoyed incredible success in bringing high-quality, unscripted programming to subscribers hungry for entertainment and the availability of Hayu to our subscribers at no extra cost is another great value-add to a Foxtel subscription.”

The announcement is a major change of tone from Foxtel – previous CEO Richard Freudenstein at the time warned it would factor in the competition in any further deal made with NBC Universal.

“It’s a trade-off,” Freudenstein told the Sydney Morning Herald. “When we look at our content partners, we look at what’s the right amount to pay them based on the quality of their product and where they distribute it.

Hayu is thought to be a part of a new wave of SVOD services set to launch in Australia; however, the launch in April saw the service beset with a slew of technical glitches and problems. 


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