Foxtel is boosting its streaming portfolio with the launch of Fox Showcase, a drama destination that will house Foxtel content, as well as HBO and FX programming.
The new streaming channel, available through the Foxtel IQ3 and IQ4 boxes, will act as a home for all of Foxtel's drama programming, including its own original series and deals with the US cable networks.
At a launch event in Sydney last night, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany told agencies and media partners that this latest announcement would mark the pay-tv provider as "the gold standard" by which all other premium content platforms are compared.
"In this era of digital disruption, disintermediation and the era of Netflix, we are unashamedly a premium service," Delany says.
"In this world of confusion and white noise, we think it important to say what you are and who you are - we are the gold standard, we will continue our commitment to Australian drama and will continue with international drama."
Delany emphasised that this was part of Foxtel's ongoing strategy to remind the market that the service is not only about its popular sports offering.
Launching the service during "the biggest week for sport in Australia", in which both the NRL and AFL grand finals are to be played, the pay-tv boss said it was important to remember that sport was not the only focus for the business.
Delany added that while half of its users would be focused on sport for this week, only a third of those same viewers watch sport on Foxtel consistently throughout the year, highlighting the importance of having a strong entertainment proposition.
Also in attendance was FX Networks and Productions president of original programming Eric Schrier, who commented on the growing presence of the network through its ongoing relationship with Foxtel.
Schrier, who was accompanied by a raft of FX programming talent, stated that Fox Showcase would now provide FX with a stronger local presence in the market.
"In a global television environment where there are thousands of shows, we believe brands mean something for consumers and that quality beats volume. Every FX show stands for its brand," Schrier says.
"Over the years, our programs have been on multiple channels in Australia, without any clear representation of the FX brand. Now the one destination for FX shows becomes Fox Showcase."
MCN’s national director content and brand partnerships Tania Jones said:
“The launch of Fox Showcase and its library of On Demand content demonstrates Foxtel’s pioneering vision, delivering entertainment like never before. With a stellar schedule of local and international drama, it provides a premium viewing experience for the customer, alongside a premium environment for brands and advertisers alike.”
This is the second major streaming launch for Foxtel in as many months, following the announcement of Fox Flicks, a dedicated hub for Foxtel's library of over 1000 films.
While not a new app or platform, the FoxFlicks option is available through a newly created menu for current Foxtel Platinum HD and Foxtel Movie subscribers and can only be watched via the Foxtel iQ3 and iQ4 set-top boxes.
The ad-free format aims to deliver a new content strategy that simplifies the selection process using mood-based recommendations and specialised movie playlists.
As the business continues to build its streaming offering, rumours regarding Foxtel splitting its SVOD streaming service, Foxtel Now, into separate sports and entertainment platforms continue.
The recent hire of ex-Diageo top marketer Adam Ballesty as Foxtel director of sports marketing may be further indication of a separate focus on its sporting offering.
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