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Telstra makes $50million investment in content provider Fetch TV in a bid to get ahead of its telco rivals

Telstra announced Thursday it had spent $50million to buy a controlling interest in Fetch TV, a platform and content provider for the telco’s rivals Optus and Vocus.

Fetch TV’s service provides a set-top box and digital tuner, allowing customers to access subscription channels and video-on-demand.

Telstra now has a 51 per cent stake in the company and plans to move its platform, Telstra TV, which has 800,000 subscribers, over to Fetch TV, which will survive as a standalone brand, reports TV Tonight.

The news comes as Telstra’s current deal with Roku is about to expire.

Roku is an American company that uses its technology to deliver Telstra TV to subscribers’ homes.

Telstra’s move will boost subscriptions to Fetch TV, which has 670,000 active users.

Fetch was launched in Australia in 2008 and provides access to streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video, as well as free-to-air TV and YouTube.

Customers need to purchase a set-box to use the service, though telecommunications providers like Optus include the platform as part of their internet packages.

Telstra Group Executive of Product and Technology Kim Krogh Andersen said Telstra TV had been a popular choice for Australian households.

‘Telstra TV provides a simple way to discover and watch content from streaming services and free-to-air, and is a key platform for Foxtel streaming services Kayo, Binge and Flash,’ Andersen said.

He explained that part of the strategy behind the Fetch TV takeover was the desire to keep ahead of evolving technology in order to support future entertainment options.

Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson said Telstra’s controlling interest would accelerate the growth of the company.

Telstra’s investment, he said, ‘will ensure a bright future for our subscribers, content partners, our emerging advertising partners and, importantly, for our telco and retail distribution partners’. Daily Mail

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