Netflix arrival prompts Presto pre-emptive strike

Hey Presto! Netflix has magically gotten some competition

Update: Foxtel and Seven West Media have announced the first range of television programmes that will be coming to the Presto Entertainment streaming service. Details below.

After years of substandard service, the streaming media situation continues to improve in Australia. Today, Presto Entertainment – a new service originating from a joint venture between Foxtel and Seven West Media – will see a massive library of subscription on-demand television content made available to customers in early 2015.

The Presto Entertainment service will complement the existing Presto Movies service, giving subscribers a wide range of locally commissioned and internationally acquired television content from both companies.

Presto Entertainment and Presto Movies will be available to customers as stand-alone services or bundled together.

Pricing for the service has yet to be confirmed, but will be revealed closer to launch. It's worth noting that Presto Movies recently dropped its subscription price by half.

Perhaps this was to make this separate Presto Entertainment subscription a more desirable prospect, though that's just conjecture at this point. It's also unclear if bundling both services will result in a reduced price point.

Crossing the streams

The addition of television content into Presto's streaming repertoire will act as the final piece of the puzzle for the previously movie-centric service.

Subscribers will now have access to the best of both worlds, putting the service more in line with local competitors Quickflix, the recently announced streaming service Stan and the much-publicised upcoming local version of Netflix, which will arrive on our shores in March 2015.

The joint venture puts the Presto streaming service in a better position to compete with Netflix, which will be launching in Australia without many of its popular U.S. commissioned exclusive shows, like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, as Foxtel currently owns the Australian rights to both.

While Foxtel has announced that it will not be showing the third season of House of Cards, it will still hold the rights to the first two seasons.

Whether or not these Netflix-created shows will be available on the Foxtel-backed Presto Entertainment service remains to be seen, though one can imagine that it would be embarrassing for Netflix to have to give its most popular original shows over to the competition.

It's showtime!

Foxtel has confirmed exclusive access to the shows Wentworth, Satisfaction, Love My Way, Spirited and Tangle, while Seven West Media will provide access to home-grown content such as Packed to the Rafters, All Saints, City Homicide, Home & Away, Winners & Losers and Always Greener.

Seven will also bring a suite of International shows, such as Mr Selfridge, Lewis, A Touch of Frost and Rosemary and Thyme. A new US crime drama called Aquarius, starring David Duchovny, will also arrive just after launch.

Presto has promised more announcements before the service becomes officially available.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.