News Corp Binges to ease Foxtel's streaming woes

News Corp-controlled Foxtel is confident new entertainment service Binge will expand its user base despite industry concerns about cannibalisation

23/05/2020 8:01:00 AM

'We are going for a whole new audience': News Corp-controlled Foxtel is confident new entertainment streaming service Binge will win it more subscribers | zoesam93...

News Corp-controlled Foxtel is confident new entertainment service Binge will expand its user base despite industry concerns about cannibalisation

Very large text sizeNews Corp-controlled Foxtel is confident new entertainment streaming service Binge will win it more subscribers despite industry concerns it will cause further churn for its traditional pay TV offering in a fiercely competitive market.

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Julian Ogrin, chief executive of Binge who also runs Foxtel's sports streaming service Kayo, said the company was expecting to complement Netflix's local subscriber base, rejecting the idea that the market was too cluttered and that the product, which costs between $10 and $18 a month, would cause existing Foxtel subscribers to reduce the price they pay for content.

Binge chief executive Julian Ogrin has his sights set on attracting new customers.Credit:Louise Kennerley“At the end of the day what we are doing, not unlike Kayo, we are going for a whole new audience," Mr Ogrin toldThe Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age

.“We demonstrated our success with Kayo in that we said upfront that Kayo was about getting into the growing incremental markets that Foxtel didn’t play in. That’s exactly how we see this as well. It’s making sure we are tapping into that growth. We really think we are a must-have product that joins at the hip of the established Netflix user.”

AdvertisementFoxtel, which is 65 per cent owned by News Corp Australia, is investing substantial amounts of money in streaming services as it attempts to pivot the business away from the traditional set top box. But the streaming products cost less than a traditional Foxtel subscription, reducing the average revenue per user (ARPU) it earns.

News Corp was the most shorted stock on the Australian Securities Exchange as of May 18, according to data compiled by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. Short positions surged to 15.7 per cent, growth which industry experts said could be linked to significant falls in advertising revenue across the wider News Corp business and suspension of sport caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foxtel's new streaming service Binge starts at $10 per month.Credit:FoxtelKayo's subscriber numbers, which included those who received a discount for the service through Telstra, sat at 272,000 paying subscribers as of May 2. Mr Ogrin said he was confident registered users would re-activate their accounts with the commencement of the NRL and AFL in the next few weeks.

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Morningstar analyst Brian Han equity analyst said it was easy to be "pessimistic" about News Corp."Foxtel is under structural pressures leading to asset value write-downs and leading to all of these streaming initiatives [Binge] - because the core pay TV business is in structural decline, and I think even they would admit that," Mr Han said.

"The second reason is that there is a perennial concern about News Corp's newspaper businesses and they are also under structural pressures, and that's one of the reasons why News Corp is hellbent on giving people more transparency about the crown jewel in terms of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, because they want people to focus on those instead of all the other ones [businesses] which are struggling.

Loading"At the end of the day, News Corp is an advertising-dependent company and advertising in turn ultimately hinges on consumer confidence and business sentiment, and those are two qualities in short supply at the moment."News Corp wrote down $1.4 billion in Foxtel

related to goodwill and intangible assets earlier this month. But television sources said Foxtel's investment in Binge is likely to be smaller to the money it put into Kayo when it launched in November 2018. While Foxtel landed a multi-million dollar contract with US entertainment giant WarnerMedia two weeks ago and has a number of large content deals in place, it does not have the added cost of building the product.

Mr Ogrin said there are synergies between the two platforms. Read more: The Sydney Morning Herald »

zoesam93 I got great enjoyment from the Foxtel sports programmes I think they do sport better than anyone else . I cancelled my subscription because I could no longer stomach the thought that I was putting money In Rupert Murdoch’s pocket . For the same reason I will not sign up to Binge zoesam93 Netflix, Stan, Prime Video, GooglePlay, Microsoft Movies, Disney Plus. What is going to make Binge stand out?

zoesam93 How many attempts at a streaming service is this now? Lost count... zoesam93 The thing that strikes me most about the move by Fox into streaming is how anachronistic the look and feel of it is. I suppose this what they are counting on: it will not be online people watching it. The boomers are coming home....

zoesam93 I would not sign up to anything Ruphet Merdoch brings. zoesam93 Unfortunately all these new versions of the same thing keep running into the same problem: I will never, EVER give my money to the cunts who own it. zoesam93 Remember when Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace? zoesam93 Foxtel was a rip off. Expensive and the programming was utter crap. No way am I giving this greedy company any more money.

zoesam93 Can't they just have their existing platforms rebuilt so it works properly with more flexibility? Rather than introducing another product to compete with others and themselves? zoesam93 Huh? Whose watching that? zoesam93 Why would you pay huge $$ for a substandard product. People can watch quality for Nothing.

zoesam93 I want Shudder not this HBO crap zoesam93 Classic Murdoch. It’s a ruse. It’s same programming as Foxtel with only real difference being consumer can play program when they like using streaming. No real incentive to sign up. zoesam93 Wall-to-wall of (mostly) American crap. Roll on Britbox zoesam93 This service will crush Stan

zoesam93 I do like the way Netflix generates own sponsored content. Must be a boon for the movie makers. zoesam93 ...Binge is the Hindenburg MK2 - full of explosive hot air and doomed to failure.... zoesam93 dream on Rupert zoesam93 Lol

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JobKeeper 'badly implemented, badly communicated and badly budgeted' | Sky News AustraliaShadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the JobKeeper program has been “badly implemented, badly communicated and badly budgeted” which shows you cannot trust “a bad government with a good idea”. \n\nThe Australian Tax Office admitted the JobKeeper forms 'could have been clearer', after confusion over the first question resulted in the estimated budget being out by $60 billion dollars.\n\n“The $60 billion question is how can we ever believe anything that this treasurer or this government tells us about the budget or about the economy into the future,” Mr Chalmers said.\n\nImage: News Corp Australia Again, what’s your alternative policy Jim? Chalmers has all the red flags of a terrible Paul Keating just with even more taxes than before and no idea on how to force big miners to keep jobs here whilst slugging them huge taxes... muppet!!! I can't wait to find out how coming under budget is bad

Early superannuation scheme a 'burden on future economy' | Sky News AustraliaLabor leader Anthony Albanese has again taken aim at the government over its early superannuation scheme. \n\nMr Albanese said the scheme – which allows eligible citizens to apply for up to $10,000 from their superannuation – was threatening Australia’s future economy. \n\n“Australians who are struggling have taken $13.2 billion out of their own superannuation accounts,” he said. \n\n“That means they have less in their retirement savings. It also means the cost to the future economy, the burden which is there on retirement, will be greater on Australians and on our national economy.'\n\nImage: News Corp Australia AlboMP Albo won’t have to worry about that, he won’t lead Labor to the next election anyway... AlboMP Or does it threaten the power of labour backing union super funds AlboMP Dont you worry albo. The liberal government set up the future fund for you. Your pension is safe. Unless you want to transfer public sector retirement money back to us.

Target to close up stores across Australia, costing more than 1000 jobs | Sky News AustraliaUp to 167 Target stores will be closed or converted as part of a massive restructure by the retailer's parent company Wesfarmers.\n\nThe changes mean up to 1,300 jobs will be lost and the Target Country brand will disappear.\n\nThe retailing conglomerate said the company would shift focus to Kmart, to reduce Target's unsustainable cost base.\n\nWestfarmers announced the decision on Friday, saying 75 stores would close and 92 would become Kmart stores. \n\nThe actions will be undertaken over the next 12 months.\n\nImage: Getty For years the offering is poor and what the do have they don't have... Out of stock of so many items all the time! Could be a great business if run by the right team. More AustralianMade just a thought🤔 Targetaus AustralianMade geoffrey_payne I'm a bit of a retail novice but what's the big difference between Target and K-mart? They seem to sell much of the same shit. For years the offering is poor and what they do have they don't have... Out of stock of so many items all the time! Could be a great business if run by the right team. More AustralianMade... just a thought 🤔 Targetaus AustralianMade

Queensland reconsiders pub limits after NSW allows 50 patrons from June | Sky News AustraliaQueensland could follow New South Wales with pubs and restaurants hopeful they will be able to serve 50 patrons at one time. \n\nRestaurant and Catering Australia submitted its COVIDSafe Plan to the State Government which proposed the sweeping changes, according to The Courier Mail.\n\nPending approval from health authorities, the plan would scrap the current 20 patron limit planned for June 12.\n\nImage: Getty Queenslanders will be hopeful of more reconsideration from their border obsessed Premier

ATO admits the JobKeeper forms 'could have been clearer' | Sky News AustraliaThe Australian Tax Office admits the JobKeeper forms 'could have been clearer', after confusion over the first question resulted in the estimated budget being out by $60 billion dollars. \n\nA significant reporting error has led Treasury to dramatically revise its projections for the Morrison government's JobKeeper program. \n\nThe scheme, which sees the government pay $1,500 fortnightly in affected workers' wages, was originally expected to cover around 6.5 million employees at a cost of $130 billion. \n\nBut late Thursday, the Treasury and Australian Tax Office were forced to admit to the Morrison Government those projections were wrong. \n\nAs a result, Treasury's revised estimate of the cost of the JobKeeper program is now just $70 billion which is $60 billion less than the original forecast.\n\nImage: Getty Morrison Govt reveals accounting bungle with JobKeeper numbers, saves tax payers $60 billion Anthony Albanese: If they can’t get this right, then how can they be trusted to get the recovery right BUT Remember So it was an honest mistake? Companies weren't trying to rort it then? Oh ok. Well anyone can make a mistake.