Another streaming service is in the works


It faces stiff competition with the newly released Apple TV+ as well as existing giants Netflix and Stan.

And now another media company wants a slice of the pie, with Foxtel* in the final stages of rolling out its own entertainment streaming service.

Aiming to mirror the success of its sports streaming service Kayo, which launched last November and has already secured 402,000 subscribers, Foxtel plans to drop its new drama-based product in the first half of 2020.

Dubbed internally as “Project Ares”, the official name is expected to be unveiled early next year. It will be a Foxtel product but branded and run separately.

Foxtel is launching a drama-based streaming service.Source:Foxtel

Apple TV+ launched last month. Picture: Noah Berger/AFP

Apple TV+ launched last month. Picture: Noah Berger/AFPSource:AFP

While that’s all under wraps for now, what we can speculate is the content that will potentially be on offer.

Like Kayo with sports rights, the new platform’s content will likely draw from Foxtel’s existing rights across drama and entertainment, which will come as welcomed news for fans as a way of making their exclusive offerings more affordable, including Game of Thrones as well as its hugely popular local Lifestyle programs Love It Or List It and Grand Designs.

Foxtel has a long-term deal with HBO, granting it complete access to its rich library of shows including GoT, Veep, Big Little Lies, Succession, Watchmen, His Dark Materials and this year’s breakout hit, Chernobyl.

Foxtel will also be the home of the hugely anticipated GoT prequel House of the Dragon, which was given the green light to shoot an entire series without a pilot order last month.

Game of Thrones is exclusive to Foxtel. Picture: HBO

Game of Thrones is exclusive to Foxtel. Picture: HBOSource:Supplied

The Australian broadcast company just announced it had also extended its agreement with NBCUniversal, which would bring with it a plethora of new on-demand content and Universal Pictures movies including Fast and Furious, Jurassic, Bourne and Jaws franchises as well as DreamWorks animation titles.

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Foxtel currently has a streaming service called Foxtel Now that mirrors much of its broadcast content. It’s not clear if the mooted Project Ares will replace Foxtel Now or be a companion to it.

Foxtel Now has (for now at least) held onto several Disney titles, including a handful of Marvel and Star Wars films, despite them being pulled from Stan ahead of the Disney+ release in Australia today.

Disney+ launched in Australia and is $9 a month. Picture: Robyn Beck/AFP

Disney+ launched in Australia and is $9 a month. Picture: Robyn Beck/AFPSource:AFP

Get a 10-day free trial*. Stream Foxtel Now

News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said the rapid success of Kayo was a promising indicator for Project Ares.

“It will obviously be based on the Kayo distribution platform. So much of the engineering there has already been done,” Mr Thomson said.

“And I think when you speak of streaming, the salient point to note about Foxtel is the rapid growth of Kayo from nothing a year ago to 402,000 paying customers now and another 443,000 in total.”

*News Corp, publisher of this website, is majority owner of Foxtel

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