Thursday, August 11, 2022

Telstra to Buy 51% of Fetch TV and Adopt its Technology

Telstra has entered into an agreement with Fetch as its new platform for Telstra TV and to evolve Telstra’s home and entertainment proposition.

Telstra Group Executive of Product and Technology, Kim Krogh Andersen, said, “Telstra TV launched in 2015 with a focus on bringing together a wide range of streaming services for our customers and today has around 800,000 active subscribers, operating on the Roku platform.

“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 Andersen.

“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.

“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.

“Becoming a trusted partner in the home remains an important growth opportunity for Telstra. As homes become more digitally connected, the integration of that technology – including the Smart Modem, smart meter and a platform for streaming media which can also be used for AR, VR and the metaverse – will become even more critical. While they all do different things, if they can work together seamlessly, it will help enable customers to get the most out of their connectivity. That’s why Telstra is investing in an ‘open’ technology platform and for us to have access to an onshore team who can deliver on a relevant product roadmap for Telstra and telcos,” he said.

The deal will see Telstra invest around $50 million including provision for onboarding Telstra TV customers onto Fetch. This will result in Telstra acquiring a 51 percent stake in the company, at a valuation of around AUD$100 million.

Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson said Fetch has achieved scale and profitability on the back of a compelling proposition and distribution partnerships with leading Australian telcos and retailers. With Telstra on board, Fetch is now well placed to deliver a home and entertainment proposition with the scale to enable us to partner with global content and streaming providers.

“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,” Mr Lorson said.

Fetch TV will continue to operate standalone with Telstra as a majority shareholder. Fetch TV’s incumbent shareholders, Astro Holdings, will retain a 49 percent share in the company. Telstra will consolidate Fetch TV’s accounts post completion.

Telstra TV as a product continues in market, however services will be progressively migrated to the Fetch TV platform.

Fetch TV currently has approximately 670,000 active subscribers through its Australian Retail Service Providers (RSP) relationships including Optus, iiNet, Aussie Broadband, Primus and Dodo. Fetch TV is also sold via leading retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and The Good Guys.

The transaction is subject to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approval and other customary conditions precedent.

Fetch TV’s Mighty Gen 4 STB

Fetch TV has begun rolling out its latest Set-Top-Box (STB), the Mighty Gen 4 Personal Video Recorder (PVR).

Fetch says the Mighty Gen 4 PVR is powered by the latest in chipset and Wi-Fi technology, and represents an upgrade to the “very popular Mighty Gen 3 PVR”. Fetch upgraded its puck offering late last year with the introduction of the Mini 4K. The prior versions of the Mighty and Mini were introduced in 2016.

Scott Lorson, CEO Fetch TV, said, “Fetch is committed to maintaining our position as the leading Australian aggregation platform, and to delivering on our brand promise of ‘All your entertainment, easy’. We continue to add to our content offering, including the recent addition of Disney+.

“Fetch is proud to announce the introduction of the Mighty Gen 4 PVR. Innovation is in our DNA, and we continue to leverage technology advances to enhance the user experience and future proof the Fetch hardware offering. If the early reviews are anything to go by, the Mighty Gen 4 PVR will be a clear market leader.”

The new Fetch Mighty Gen 4 PVR retains the same form factor, user interface, functionality and content offering as the current Mighty. Despite the upgraded technical specifications, the RRP will remain unchanged at AUD$449. The Fetch Mighty Gen 4 PVR is available from leading retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and The Good Guys, and will be rolling out with ISP partners later this year.

Both Gen 4 Fetch boxes are interoperable with earlier versions of the Fetch Mighty and Mini, offering advanced multi-room features including the ability to stream Free-to-Air channels to a Fetch box located in a room where an aerial is not available. Fetch boxes are also fully compatible with the Fetch ‘Mobi’ companion App.

Mighty Gen 4 versus Mighty Gen 3 STBs

Visit http://www.fetchtv.com.au/ and https://www.telstra.com

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