The battle over content rights and delivery systems took a new twist yesterday with claims that the NBN is set to cost Australians who own a Smart TV or digital set top box thousands in download fees, there is also a push to allow Telstra to sell Foxtel bundled with their broadband offerings.
John Porter the CEO of Austar claims that the National Broadband Network (NBN) could destroy the Australian media industry. He said under the current NBN pricing model consumers will pay “potentially hundreds of dollars per month” for access to content.
He said Companies like Fetch TV or over the top Companies like T Box or Ice TV will be put out of business on the current NBN pricing model.
Porter who was talking at a Financial Review seminar said that Telstra should be allowed to extend their ownership of Foxtel by buying out Consolidated Media Holdings who own a third of Foxtel along with a share of Fox Sports.
He said that there are structural challenges in the video delivery business and that Google with their YouTube was like a “bullet train” heading towards the pay TV industry.
“We are going to have to redefine what subscription TV is in this market” he said.
His comments come as both LG and Samsung plan to launch new Smart TV’s with dual and quad core processors, new application capabilities and alls from Telstra and Blockbuster that allow content to be streamed direct into a home.
Porter said that in the USA the average Netflix user downloaded 80 gigabytes of content to their TV and if that is repeated in Australia under the proposed NBN pricing that Australians will pay thousands to simply access content.