Foxtel, Seven joins forces in SVOD battle

Australia’s Foxtel and Seven West have joined forces to launch streaming service Presto Entertainment ahead of Netflix’s assault on the Australian market next March.

Expected to start operations just before Netflix, Presto Entertainment is a 50:50 joint venture between Foxtel and Seven that will run separately to Foxtel’s existing Presto Movies service.

The new service will offer local and international TV content, including Foxtel’s HBO programming and Seven’s local drama library.

“TV is the final piece in Presto’s entertainment puzzle and today’s news positions us well to take it to the next level by offering the best in local and international TV to new and future subscribers,” said Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein.

The collaboration, which has been long anticipated, follows the tie-up between Australia’s Nine Entertainment Co and Fairfax Media last August to launch SVOD service Stan, which has rights to the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul.

Australia’s Network Ten is now the only major free-to-air broadcaster without an SVOD venture ahead of Netflix’s entry into the market. An estimated 200,000 Aussies already access Netflix via a VPN, although rumblings from the US streaming giant suggest it may start cracking down on this practice.