Telstra Set To Expand Content Offering As TVs Get Smarter

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With Quickflix struggling to survive and several TV manufacturers set to launch a new generation of Smart TVs, Telstra has moved to try and expand their IPTV content deals spanning sport and premium content.Telstra, who already has content deals with LG, Samsung and Panasonic is looking to secure new deals with the National Rugby League, Cricket Australia and V8 Supercars. The content, if secured, will be available on smartphones, tablets, PCs, Bluu-ray players, as well as their T-Box IPTV, which is available on several TVs digital set top boxes, and as well as Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console.

At the 2013 CES Event in Las Vegas, several Telstra partners are set to launch new content software that will take advantage of a new generation of processors now being built into TVs and digital set top boxes.

Telstra media boss Rick Ellis told the Australian newspaper “We’ve been talking to pretty much all rights holders and content originators that fall into that category of premium international and premium local and sport. So watch this space,” Mr Ellis said. “We are focused on partnerships and if there are opportunities to joint venture or where there could be an odd acquisition or two that adds value to the overall growth scenario for Telstra, then we are open to that.”

The NRL deal — believed to be worth more than $75 million and only weeks away from being announced — would allow the telco to stream live games direct to mobile handsets, which when connected to a display screen allows a user on a telco plan that includes content to watch a game free of advertising.

Also set to benefit from the Telstra push to secure new content is Foxtel which is 50% owned by Telstra. Ellis said the telco would leverage its relationship with the pay-TV operator to gain more access to premium content next year. “We’re looking to Foxtel to be a major supplier of product for us. Foxtel is a very important partner to us in securing the content rights we need for our IPTV play,” Mr Ellis said.

“We already have a pretty broad content relationship with Foxtel. We have Foxtel on mobile phones or tablets and then we have the Foxtel bundles on T-Box and so this is really extending the consumer access to that content in a consistent way across multiple screens.”

“We’ve settled on a board strategy which is to provide premium international, premium local and sport content to any screen anywhere at the same time,” Mr Ellis said. “We have done a lot of work framing what the content proposition is going to look like in linear channels, in transaction video on demand and subscription video on demand. We’ll be announcing a number of those in the first half of next year”.

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