Telstra adopts Fetch as TV platform provider | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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As part of its strategy to evolve its home and entertainment proposition, Australian communications service provider Telstra has entered into an agreement with the Fetch entertainment aggregation service for it to become the new platform for its Telstra TV offer.
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The deal will see Telstra invest around $50 million into Fetch including provision for onboarding Telstra TV customers and this will result in Telstra acquiring a 51% stake in the company, at a valuation of around $100 million. Fetch TV will continue to operate standalone with incumbent shareholder Astro Holdings retaining a 49% share in the company. Telstra will consolidate Fetch TV’s accounts post completion.

Telstra TV launched in 2015 with a focus on bringing together a wide range of streaming services for customers and today has around 800,000 active subscribers, operating on the Roku platform. While it believes that the current Telstra TV product remains popular, the company says its underlying technology platform needs to evolve to support a deeper level of engagement through content offers, account management and rewards through Telstra Plus. It is said to also need to support future entertainment options and be delivered via the hardware options customers want including smart TVs.

Going forward, while Telstra TV as a product will continue, 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.

Outlining reasons for the deal, Telstra Group executive of product and technology, Kim Krogh Andersen, said: “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. 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.”

Added Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson: 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.”

The transaction is subject to ACCC approval and other customary conditions precedent.