Nine confirms talks with ‘numerous businesses’ as reports emerge of Fairfax video streaming joint venture

FairfaxNine has confirmed it has spoken to “numerous media businesses” over the development of its video streaming operation Stream Co as reports emerged that the network is close to forging a $100 million joint venture with Fairfax Media.

The two parties have been in talks for more than three months according to this morning’s Australian Financial Review with any deal certain to fuel speculation that Nine and Fairfax will pursue a merger.

Both companies are reported to have agreed to invest $50 million each in the Stream Co venture with consumers to be charged $1o per month.

A Nine spokeswoman confirmed to Mumbrella that talks have taken place with prospective partners.

nine_entertainment_logo“We have spoken to numerous media businesses as we have developed the StreamCo business,” said the Nine spokesman. “At this point we don’t have any agreement in place and we will make any formal announcements as and when are they concluded.”

But sources have told Mumbrella the likelihood of Nine and Fairfax inking a deal is greater than 50/50, although much of the detail has yet to be worked through.

News of a potential agreement between the media companies is the latest in a series of developments in the battleground to establish a footprint in the subscription video on demand market. Speculation that Netflix will launch in Australia in 2o15 continues to grow, while Foxtel already operates Presto in the local market.

However, the pay-TV operator slashed the cost of its movie streaming prices earlier this month amid speculation it has struggled to win subscribers.

A potential deal between Nine and Fairfax in the long term could be harbinger towards a future merger between the two media organisations, however not while Fairfax continues to have major print assets.

Steve Jones and Nic Christensen 



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