Foxtel owner Telstra set to back rival Netflix

Telstra set to back Netflix

Australian telco Telstra is planning to work with mega-streaming darling Netflix to host files as well as promote the service, despite having a substantial financial stake in rival company, Foxtel.

Foxtel has its own TV and movie streaming service, Presto, which it runs in conjunction with Channel 7, as well as owning and promoting its online-only Foxtel Play app which streams recently-aired TV shows.

The extent of Telstra’s involvement with Netflix is yet to be finalised, though rumours suggest Telstra will incorporate the US giant’s servers into its own data centres.

Fingers in pies

This would reduce the cost of piping data from across the other side of the world to Australia, and increase the speed of transferring to local devices.

As well as hosting its hardware, Telstra would also promote and market the service. It’s unclear how and to what extent, as both Optus and iiNet secured deals with Netflix prior to its launch here in Australia for unmetered downloads in a deal that’s since gone sour.

You can pretty much guarantee that a similar deal will never happen again, as a statement from Netflix said they "should have avoided that and will avoid it going forward" due to “discrimination among video services”.

Paul Taylor is chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub SME Leaders Steering Group and and Cybersecurity Partner at KPMG.