Telstra, the Australian telecommunications company, is partnering with former competitor Fetch TV to provide a new platform for Telstra TV and to evolve its home and entertainment proposition. Subject to regulatory approval, the telco will invest around AU$50 million to acquire 51% of Fetch TV and progressively transfer its Telstra TV customers to the platform. Astro Holdings will retain a 49% share of Fetch TV.
Launched in 2015, Telstra TV has around 800,000 active subscribers, operating on the Roku platform.
Fetch TV, based in Sydney, was founded in 2008 and is backed by leading Asian pay television provider Astro All Asia Networks. Fetch TV has around 670,000 active subscribers through relationships with Optus, iiNet, Aussie Broadband, Primus, and Dodo, which compete with Telstra in the provision of internet access services. Fetch TV is also sold through leading retailers.
“Telstra TV has been successful and popular in Australian homes as it provides a simple way to discover and watch content from streaming services and free-to-air, and is a key platform for Foxtel streaming services, Kayo, Binge and Flash,” said Kim Krogh Andersen, who is responsible for product and technology at Telstra. He joined the company from Telenor in early 2020.
“While the current Telstra TV product remains popular, the underlying technology platform needs to evolve to support a deeper level of engagement through content offers, account management and rewards through Telstra Plus. It also needs to support future entertainment options and be delivered via the hardware options customers want including Smart TVs,” he said.
“After a strategic review of our options, we have selected Fetch TV for its ability to deliver this functionality at scale for our customers, given Fetch’s software development capability, innovative roadmap and strong track record delivering capability for other Australian telco partners.”
In the coming year, Telstra will migrate its Telstra TV customers to the Fetch TV platform. Fetch TV supports many of the same streaming services as Telstra TV, including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Stan and YouTube, along with free-to-air channels.
The Telstra executive said that existing Fetch TV customers can continue to maintain their relationship with Fetch TV directly or through their current telecommunications provider.
Fetch TV chief executive Scott Lorson said that Fetch has achieved scale and profitability on the back of a compelling proposition and distribution partnerships with leading Australian telcos and retailers.
“This investment from Telstra will allow Fetch TV to accelerate growth and deliver a genuinely competitive Australian home and entertainment solution. Fetch has a hard-earned reputation for localisation, innovation and partnership, and today’s announcement will ensure a bright future for our subscribers, content partners, our emerging advertising partners and, importantly, for our telco and retail distribution partners,”
“This investment from Telstra will allow Fetch TV to accelerate growth and deliver a genuinely competitive Australian home and entertainment solution. Fetch has a hard-earned reputation for localisation, innovation and partnership, and today’s announcement will ensure a bright future for our subscribers, content partners, our emerging advertising partners and, importantly, for our telco and retail distribution partners.”