In yet another major shake-up of their streaming platforms, officials at Foxtel have reportedly been given the go ahead on two new entirely separate services that could wind up rendering the existing Foxtel Now completely redundant.
The Australian Financial Review very quietly reports that Foxtel is now moving full steam ahead with its plans to split its streaming operations into two different products: one for sport, and one for entertainment. It’s likely that the arrival of the pair will also coincide with the phasing out of Foxtel Now, which is bound to anyone who actually managed to get the clunky platform working on anything other than a web browser.
The sports platform has been mooted for quite some time, and looks set to launch sometime around November; coinciding with Foxtel’s first major foray into broadcasting the Australian summer of international cricket, after it secured the rights in April via a co-operative deal with Channel Seven.
Foxtel, which will launch a dedicated Fox Cricket channel for the summer, has its first exclusive broadcast on September 29th when it airs the women’s T20 clash between Australia and New Zealand from North Sydney Oval.
Reports suggest company bosses could opt to soft-launch the new product – currently carrying the working title Project Martian – at that point, or it could wait until November 4th for the men’s ODI clash between Australia and South Africa from Perth instead.
Either way, the AFR report asserts the sports streaming platform will not carry Foxtel branding in its name, and will provide 4K resolution streaming, and will be priced at approximately $19.95 per month.
Meanwhile, the separate entertainment product – currently titled Project Jupiter – will take all the access Foxtel currently has to SVOD services and spin it off into its own product that will rival the likes of Stan and Netflix.
At present, there’s no word on whether any of Foxtel’s entertainment channels – which crucially carry major live broadcasts from the likes of the WWE and various US award ceremonies – will maintain live streaming options once the new services launch.
This will be the second streaming revamp for the Pay-TV monolith inside a handful of years. Current management is said to be unhappy with the Now branding. Customers are said to be unhappy with the fact that the app sucks ass and only kind of works if you buy their $99 proprietary box.
Foxtel and Fox Sports formally merged their operations at the start of the year.Source: AFR